WBUR's BizLab Receives Funding From Knight Foundation For Multi-Station Revenue Experiments For Sustainability In The Digital Age

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WBUR, is pleased to announce it has received $250,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in support of BizLab’s collaboration with public media stations to design and conduct revenue experiments for public radio in the digital age. This brings the total investment in the initiative to $1 million with the previously announced $750,000 provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

BizLab will lead WBUR and six additional public media stations in identifing and evaluating revenue concepts in-market and together share their collective learnings across the network of stations. The open call was announced on October 1, 2018, and, given the popular demand, the deadline was extended to October 31, 2018. Numerous stations spanning the country applied to participate and represent a diversity of organizations based on geography, size and audience.

“This significant funding from Knight Foundation will bolster our efforts to find new revenue concepts for the public media ecosystem,” said BizLab executive director Joan DiMicco. “We are truly encouraged by the enthusiasm of our station colleagues and the number and variety of submissions we received for this initiative. We look forward to reviewing each application.”

With this additional support from Knight Foundation, BizLab is even better-positioned to help solve a system-wide challenge: understanding the local listener and engaging them in supporting excellent journalism.

“The way people consume news and information continues to transform at an accelerated pace,” said Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism. “As listeners increasingly turn to digital and on-demand methods to access news, it’s critical for public radio stations to collaborate and exercise new strategies that bolster audience retention, engagement and support.”

Each participating station will work with BizLab for six months, using lean, user-centered design methodologies to identify and test new sources of revenue for that station. By engaging audiences and quickly testing concepts in-market, each station will generate quantitative results to inform their near-term strategic investments. Collaborating stations will share results and best practices with each other and the broader public radio system.

Selected stations will be chosen from different markets, varied by station size, population and geography. Winners will be announced Fall 2018 and collaborations will commence in January 2019. Click here for more information.