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WBUR's BizLab Announces Public Media Stations Selected For Revenue Experiments For Sustainability In The Digital Age

WBUR is pleased to announce the public media stations selected to participate in BizLab’s initiative to design and conduct revenue experiments for public radio in the digital age. The project is funded with $750,000 from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and $250,000 from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Each participating station will work with WBUR’s 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.

The selected stations are:

- WAMU, American University Radio, Washington D.C.
- Louisville Public Media (WFPL, WFPK, WUOL), Louisville, KY
- Capital Public Radio, Sacramento, CA
- WLRN-FM, Public Radio for South Florida and the Florida Keys, Miami, FL
- Vermont Public Radio, Colchester, VT
- WDET-FM, Detroit’s Public Radio Station, Detroit, MI

“With the acquisition and relaunch of Washington’s popular digital news outlet DCist, WAMU has been experimenting with innovative revenue strategies that can sustain public media in the digital age,” said WAMU senior director of content and news Andi McDaniel. “The opportunity to work with WBUR and BizLab couldn’t be better aligned with where we are, and where we’re aiming to go—we’re thrilled to be a part of it.”

“As media's role in people's lives changes, it's important we understand those changes — from a content perspective and a business one,” said Louisville Public Media president Stephen George. “That's why Louisville Public Media is thrilled to be part of this ambitious work to identify new sustainable revenue streams for our organization and public media in general."

These stations will be evaluating revenue models across a broad spectrum of ideas, looking at hyper-local versus state-wide engagement, small business partnerships versus corporate sponsorship arrangements, and digital-only membership versus in-person events. As the stations launch and learn, they will each share outcomes to benefit all public media stations seeking new revenue models.

For more information about the full scope of this initiative, please refer to this press release.

Find about more about BizLab here.

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