When philanthropist Stewart Bainum Jr. was unable to buy the Baltimore Sun from Alden Global Capital in 2020, a new plan emerged – Bainum announced intentions to fund the creation of The Baltimore Banner, a digital news site that will cover the city as the new corporate owners of the Baltimore Sun reduce local reporting on the community to boost operating profits.
The Baltimore Banner will launch in the coming months, but already they have inked a Joint Operating Agreement with WYPR, the NPR news and information station in Baltimore. This partnership will initially focus on content sharing, a joint editorial reporting project, and will include marketing, sales, and backend operations. Read more about the partnership at Current.org.
Recently, Public Media Company assisted WYPR with acquiring WTMD, the music discovery station owned by Towson University. LaFontaine Oliver, CEO of WYPR, noted, “Seeking PMC’s help to assess the opportunity to partner with The Baltimore Banner was a natural fit given their knowledge of WYPR, our operations, team, and board.”
We worked closely with the leadership of The Banner and WYPR to help prioritize the common areas of journalism and operations that the organizations will focus on together. Public Media Company assisted WYPR in negotiating the Joint Operating Agreement, which included working with WYPR’s attorney and summarizing and presenting the opportunity to the WYPR working committee and board for a vote.
Our experience negotiating complex transactions provided a smooth process, enabling WYPR YPR to confidently move forward with this exciting opportunity to expand its services to the Baltimore community more quickly than it could on its own.