WGBH to acquire Public Radio International

Here’s the media release:

Public Radio International and WGBH Boston Join Forces

MINNEAPOLIS, MN and BOSTON, MA, July 26, 2012 — Public Radio International® (PRI) and WGBH Boston, two leading public media organizations, announce that PRI has been acquired by, and will be an affiliated company of, WGBH. Recognizing the tremendous changes and opportunities occurring in media, PRI and WGBH are responding to the imperative for public media to find new and innovative ways to work more effectively to serve the public.

PRI, the national content producer, network and service provider for public radio, and WGBH, the award-winning public media content producer for radio, TV and the web, will come together to pursue a shared vision for developing and funding station-based and independently-produced content for public media including an editorial diversity from producers nationwide. The two organizations will leverage their combined resources and expertise to create scale and efficiencies to provide public radio audiences with more content choices and engagement opportunities; increase public radio stations’ and producers’ ability to address audience needs and interests in today’s multi-media, cross-platform digital world; and support public media’s creative communities.

As an affiliated company of WGBH, PRI will continue to operate independently as a tax-exempt non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in Minneapolis, with its distinct mission and nationally recognized board of directors, continuing to directly raise funds for its own programs, projects and operations. PRI will continue to produce PRI’s The World®, Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen from PRI and WNYC, and The Takeaway (a co-production of PRI and WNYC). It will continue to serve public radio stations with the largest portfolio of on-going and independent programming in public radio, representing content from 16 producers in the US and Canada. WGBH will provide administrative operations support to PRI.

For more than 16 years, PRI and WGBH have worked together to advance public media, co-producing PRI’s The World, radio’s only daily international news program created expressly to help American audiences experience our world’s complexities; launching public radio’s first daily national news program podcast and public radio video segments; and exchanging content between The World and WGBH’s popular documentary programs Nova and Frontline. This new arrangement is a natural extension of this longstanding working relationship.

Alisa Miller, President and CEO of PRI commented, “Joining forces with WGBH will benefit every group PRI serves, including stations, talent, producers and the public. PRI will increase its production of inspiring content, and represent a broader diversity of voices by increasing our investment in our
marketing and distribution activities. In concert with stations and producers, we will expand our offerings through the web and mobile platforms, helping the public navigate and act in our interconnected world.”

Jon Abbott, President and CEO of WGBH said, “We are excited to have this new involvement with PRI and support our shared mission and vision. PRI plays a unique role in public media by serving as an innovative resource for producers and stations – a role that is vital to the success of the system. PRI is the network that brought world news to public radio and has recognized and supported iconic talents like Ira Glass and new talents like Jian Ghomeshi. We are pleased to be part of PRI’s future success and its future impact on public media and the nation.”

About Public Radio International®

For over 28 years, Americans have identified PRI as the source of news, information and cultural insights essential to understanding our interconnected world. On almost 900 radio stations across the U.S. and on digital platforms that reach millions around the world, PRI continues to innovate in sharing powerful stories, connecting people and cultures around the globe, and helping people affect positive change in their lives and the world. Through relationships with trusted news leaders like the BBC, the CBC, the New York Times and others, PRI brings new voices, global journalism and cultural perspectives to the American public. PRI produced and distributed radio shows include “PRI’s The World®,” “Q with Jian Ghomeshi,” “Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen,” “Here & Now,” “The Takeaway,” “Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know?,” “The Tavis Smiley Show,” and “This American Life.” Content from these shows is available on public radio stations, websites, mobile phones and tablet devices, and via podcasts and streaming. PRI helps people understand their place in the world and make informed decisions every day by enabling them to “hear a different voice™.” More at pri.org.

About WGBH

WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and content producer for radio, TV and the web. WGBH Radio serves listeners across New England with 89.7 WGBH, Boston Public Radio; Classical New England; and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR® Station, together serving Boston, Cape Cod and Rhode Island. The award-winning stations are a significant source of local programs and national co-productions, including PRI’s The World and The Takeaway, and numerous specials. WGBH launched the first public radio podcast, and created the first online channels in the nation devoted to early music and kids’ classical. Their online stream is one of the top sites on the web. WGBH also is the largest producer of content for PBS, with series including Nova, American Experience, Frontline, Masterpiece, Arthur, Curious George, and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH is a leader in educational multimedia and classroom resources, and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible for audiences who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or visually impaired. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors, including Emmys, Peabodys, and duPont-Columbia Awards. Find more information at www.wgbh.org.

PRI – Julia Yager; 612 330 9231
WGBH – Jeanne Hopkins; 617 300 4363

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