CREATING BUSINESS MODELS FOR JOURNALISM COLLABORATIONS
Public Media Company has always lived by our mission to foster sustainable local independent media growth, but how we achieve that has evolved as public media has changed to meet the needs of local communities. More recently, that has included supporting the development and ongoing financial sustainability of regional journalism collaborations across the county.
In our early years, Public Media Company focused on helping our clients increase station revenue and encouraging more local news and cultural offerings.
In recent years, we have broadened our work to help public media stations build state-wide and regional journalism collaborations. These collaborations share resources to create a centralized reporting hub for a state or region. The editorial leadership of the journalism hub coordinates the coverage between stations, which results in the more effective use of journalists and more insightful reporting of issues critical to the region. Station fundraisers join together to solicit sponsorship for the collaborative. The sustainable business model attracts philanthropists’ support as well.
Public Media Company created business models for journalism collaborations in Texas, California, and the Gulf States region that launched in partnership with NPR. also assisted with station-led journalism collaborations in Kentucky, New England, and Ohio.
In 2018 Public Media Company was hired by the Texas Newsroom to create the sustainable content model that underpins the Texas Newsroom leaders’ shared goals. “Public Media Company’s work developing a sustainable business plan for a state-wide Texas News Hub has been invaluable,” said Sylvia Komatsu, Chief Content Officer of KERA. “We simply would not be where we are now without Public Media Company’s expertise and guidance.”
Launched in September 2019, The Texas Newsroom partnership includes NPR; KERA in North Texas; KUT in Austin, Houston Public Media; and Texas Public Radio in San Antonio. These four managing stations and NPR coordinate coverage across Texas with other smaller public radio stations in the state, and many stories also are distributed nationally. The Texas Newsroom also provides editing support to Texas journalists who are covering critical issues across the state.
Journalism collaborations aren’t the only content businesses that Public Media Company support. Public Media Company also has worked with radio programs, podcasts, and start-up video enterprises to help them develop sustainable content models. For example, Public Media Company has a longstanding relationship with Radio Ambulante, which evolved from a Spanish language podcast covering Latin Americans into a multichannel content business that includes a partnership with NPR.