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WBUR Announces 2019 BizLab Summit: Sustainability & Innovation In Public Radio

WBUR’s BizLab, an innovation lab developing and testing new models of support for public radio and created by WBUR, announces its 2019 BizLab Summit: Sustainability & Innovation In Public Radio convening on Tuesday, December 10.

This first-ever BizLab Summit will bring together creative, innovation-driven public radio leaders and do-ers for a day of learning about methods, techniques and ideas for new revenue streams in public radio. The changing financial landscape of journalism has created an urgency in public radio to identify and test the effectiveness of different funding models. The BizLab Summit will be a fast-paced day of lightning-style presentations and lively panel discussions, including invited speakers and station innovators sharing their stations’ new paths to sustainability. This Summit will give participants tools, case studies and perspectives to take back to their station and apply today.

With funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Knight Foundation, BizLab stations across the country have spent 2019 testing news ideas for revenue at their stations and in their communities. Capital Public Radio, Louisville Public Media, Vermont Public Radio, WAMU, WDET-FM and WLRN-FM will unpack the past year of BizLab experiments from how to launch a new product and brand to aligning editorial plans with revenue goals.

The biggest barriers to innovation are often an organization’s culture and leadership alignment. To address this head-on, the second half of the day will focus on what it takes to implement different funding models at stations. Tamsen Webster, a 20-year brand and message strategist and former TEDx Executive Producer, will be the keynote speaker, explaining how to make it easy for one’s team to say "yes” to innovation ideas by creating the right message and presentations.

Leadership from NPR stations will discuss the effect BizLab projects have had at their stations. NHPR and KUOW will provide insights on podcast donations methods that work, and WBUR, WLRN, and KALW will speak to emerging technologies for both engaging and soliciting donations.

The Summit details are as follows:

  • When: December 10, 2019
  • Where: Boston, MA
  • Venue: WBUR CitySpace, 890 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215
  • Time: Breakfast starts at 8:30 AM, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Summit, followed by a cocktail reception until 7:00 PM
  • Cost: $100 registration. $75 Early bird registration, ending November 1.

For more information about the 2019 BizLab Summit, please visit

About WBUR’s BizLab

WBUR’s BizLab is an innovation lab developing and testing new models of support for public radio. Operating as a lean startup, BizLab is a team of product managers, experience designers, and business analysts. We work with public radio stations to uncover new avenues for revenue generation, distinct from traditional approaches including on-air drives, direct mail, and underwriting.

WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station, created BizLab in 2015 believing it is critical that public media invest in innovation and experimentation to identify new revenue channels to sustain public radio into the future. Given the changing landscape of journalism, media consumption, and digital advertising, there is an increasing urgency to test and measure the effectiveness of different funding models.

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