Public Media Company is a national non-profit strategic consulting company that fosters public media growth. Our organization was founded in 2001 by Station Resource Group, an association of public radio station leaders, for the purpose of strengthening and expanding public radio services in communities nationwide, so that people have greater program choices for in-depth information; national, regional and local news; diverse music and cultural programming.
Originally named Public Radio Capital, our organization was created to address two challenges in the media industry at that time: the concentration of commercial TV and radio channels in the hands of dramatically fewer corporate owners, and the unchallenged capacity of large, well-funded religious broadcasters to dominate the marketplace for noncommercial spectrum. Like others in public media, we saw these trends as challenge to the diversity of media ownership: antithetical to the role of a 21st century “free press” — the critical leverage point that makes possible an informed citizenry, and contrary to the best interests of a diverse nation in need of shared experience and common ground.
Our solution was highly entrepreneurial and new to public radio and television. We would deliver specialized business consulting and financial services at the local level, such as helping stations and community groups apply existing tax-exempt public finance tools – to expand public media.
Over the past 15 years we have seen the wisdom of this approach borne out through over 300 client projects. Since 2001, Public Media Company’s role in expansion and preservation of public media has driven an audience gain of over 1.53 million weekly public radio listeners, or 23% of 6.5 million new weekly listeners from Spring 2001 to Spring 2015.
Across the country, Public Media Company has helped strengthen and expand public media in communities such as Sacramento, Calif.; Denver, Colo.; Chicago, Ill.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Portland, Ore.; Nashville, Tenn.; Salt Lake City, Utah; and the state of Kentucky.
Without Public Media Company, public media service may have been lost in Pittsburgh, Penn.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Mobile, Ala.; Baltimore, Md.; Western Illinois; Fayetteville, NC and the entire State of New Jersey.
To counterbalance the decline of local media, Public Media Company helped create 24-hour news and information services in Columbus, Ohio; Denver, Colo.; Des Moines, Iowa; Odessa, Texas; Sioux Falls, S.D.; Tulsa, Okla.; and Olympia, Wash.; Juneau, Alaska; and Stockton, Calif.
Public Media Company has been focused on growing local cultural institutions. For example, it has preserved and grown classical music stations in Boston, Mass.; San Francisco, Calif.: Tampa, Fla.; Columbus, Ohio; and Northern California, and helped launch independent music services in Austin, Texas; Cincinnati, Ohio; Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colo.; Kansas City, Mo.; Martha’s Vineyard, Mass; Harrisburg, Penn.; Juneau, Alaska; Eastern Ohio and Milwaukee, Wis.
In 2014, Public Media Company broadened its mission to include the execution of collaborative partnerships like Channel X and VuHaus, to help drive overall growth and sustainability in public media.
In early 2015, Channel X launched as a digital-based video news exchange that brings new programs and journalistic reporting from diverse, independent often underrepresented sources to public radio and television. Channel X brings ideas and issues to the fore and helps distinguish public media in a rapidly changing media landscape and helps stations expand their offerings in digital video.
Public radio’s music stations are country’s leading engines for music discovery, finding and supporting the careers of emerging artists across the country. To help these stations reach audiences where they are — on-line and on mobile devices, in partnership with five leading public radio music stations, in 2015 Public Media Company also launched and now manages VuHaus, a digital video platform for 10+ prominent music discovery stations, providing audiences with access to live artist studio sessions, interviews, and solidifying public media as the key player in the contemporary music scene.
As we embark on our 15th anniversary year, we are proud of the impact that Public Media Company has had on the health of public media and feel strongly about the potential for our collective future. Read more about our vision in this letter from our CEO Marc Hand and feel free to contact us with your ideas for expansion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appearing in the above photo montage of Public Media Company history
Top row—Left to Right: Peter Buffett, PMC Founder and CEO Marc Hand, Mike Henry and Mikel Ellcessor; John E. Dee, KUTX; PMC Board Member Carolyn Grinstein; Radio Bilingüe Focus Group Meeting (2002)
Second row—Left to Right: PMC Founder and Board Member Susan Harmon, Orlando Bagwell, Ford Foundation; PMC Board Member Jan Nicholson, Loris Taylor, Native Public Media
Third row: A board meeting of the Public Radio Fund Advisory Council in 2008
Bottom row—Left to Right: Non-commercial filing window meeting in Puerto Rico (2007); PMC Staff meeting (2006): Roger LaMay, WXPN