The New York Times, The BBC and WGBH to Collaborate
(NEW YORK & MINNEAPOLIS) – March 19, 2007 – Public Radio International (PRI) and WNYC, New York Public Radio® will reinvigorate morning drive time with a dynamic and lively new two-hour national news program, Alisa Miller, President and CEO of PRI, and Laura Walker, President and CEO of WNYC Radio announced today.
The show will be created in collaboration with other journalistic leaders -- The BBC World Service, New York Times Radio and WGBH Boston – and will capitalize on their formidable local, national and international reach and reputation. It will be produced out of WNYC’s new, state-of-the-art studios in Lower Manhattan, where WNYC will move in Fall 2007.
The show is scheduled to launch in early 2008.
The program will represent an entirely new sound in public radio’s morning drive time. Departing from the highly-packaged format -- with pre-recorded interviews and long features -- that has become the medium’s hallmark sound, it will bring a wholly live, open, and unprecedented personality-driven format to public radio's renowned news and information programming.
Up-to-the-minute local, national and global news will be delivered by a charismatic host – to be announced later this year --- and a vibrant team of national and international contributors. The breadth and unique capabilities of the show’s media partners will allow in-depth news coverage and live reports from the field from within the US and around the globe, with BBC reporters and analysts joining in on the discussion.
The show will launch as a multi-platform program, and will be interactive and engaging, inviting listeners to respond immediately to news and participate in editorial decision-making, as well as to build a significant online community around the broadcast.
Graham Griffith, former Executive Producer of NPR’s On Point, has been named Executive Producer during the development phase of the program. Griffith has a strong track record of creating dynamic talk radio. He led the team that launched the show that became known as On Point in less than 48 hours following the 9/11 attacks, as well as the team that produced the first public radio show out of Rhode Island.
“Our goal is to create a show that stays true to public radio’s mission of helping listeners make sense of their world and put the day’s news in context,” said Miller, “but that also sounds the way people really communicate with each other: conversational, unscripted, sometimes opinionated. People are looking for both companionship and current news in the morning. Pairing a conversational tone with public radio’s stellar journalism will do both.”
"Through this extraordinary collaboration, we will bring the highest journalistic standards to a dynamic morning conversation, reaching around the globe to report the latest news, offering in-depth analysis of complex events, and finding the people with whom our listeners can connect every morning,” said Walker. “We are very excited about this project and we are confident that it will speak to current public radio listeners while also bringing a broader, more diverse audience to the table."
”This is an excellent way for The New York Times to extend its journalism to a new platform,” said New York Times Radio President Tom Bartunek. “Public radio listeners are voracious consumers of intelligently presented news and information, and we look forward to presenting Times content to them in a new way.”
Phil Harding, Director of English Networks at the BBC World Service said, "We are extremely excited by this project and the prospect of bringing the BBC's worldwide journalism to new audiences in a new looser, edgy format. We will keep all the accuracy and authority you would expect from the BBC but offer it in a multi-media format which will break new ground - and sometimes break the rules. This will be high quality news and information for the I-pod generation."
“The opportunity afforded by technology to enhance our engagement with increasingly complex, multi-generational, multi-ethnic audiences is at the heart of our work,” said Marita Rivero, WGBH's Vice President for Television and Radio. "We have confidence in how successful such a bold approach can be. WGBH looks forward to extending our partnerships with PRI, the BBC and WNYC – and building this new one with the New York Times -- to develop the next groundbreaking public radio show.”
While the content and substance of the program will appeal to existing public radio listeners — an audience which has grown dramatically to 30 million in recent years — its inviting, contemporary format will expand the circle across the demographic spectrum.
WNYC will air the show on AM 820, and continue to air Morning Edition on 93.9 FM. The program will originate in East Coast drive time and will remain relevant for West Coast drive time as well.
Public Radio International (PRI) is public radio's leading source for innovative programming, providing diverse voices and global perspectives for the public airwaves. Through partnerships with BBC World Service and station-based and independent producers, the Minneapolis-based network provides over 400 hours of programming each week, content that is broadcast and streamed online by almost 800 PRI affiliates nationwide, which reach 29 million listeners each week. PRI owns Public Interactive LLC, public broadcasting's leading Web services company. PRI is also the managing partner of the satellite radio company American Public Radio LLC, established with Chicago Public Radio®, WGBH Radio Boston and WNYC, New York Public Radio®. PRI programming is available via XM Public Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio. For more information on PRI and its programs and services, visit www.pri.org.
WNYC, New York Public Radio is New York's premier public radio station, comprising WNYC 93.9 FM and WNYC AM 820. As America's most listened-to public radio stations, reaching more than one million listeners every week, WNYC FM and AM extend New York City's cultural riches to the entire country and air the best national offerings from affiliate networks National Public Radio®, Public Radio International® and American Public Media®. WNYC 93.9 FM broadcasts a wide range of daily news, talk, cultural and classical music programming, while WNYC AM 820 maintains a stronger focus on breaking news and international news reporting. For more information, visit www.wnyc.org.
The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT), a leading media company with 2006 revenues of $3.3 billion, includes The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, 15 other daily newspapers, nine network-affiliated television stations, two New York City radio stations and 35 Web sites, including NYTimes.com, Boston.com and About.com. The Company’s core purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment.
BBC World Service is an international radio and online broadcaster delivering programmes and services in 33 languages. It uses multiple platforms to reach 163 million listeners globally, including SW, AM, FM, digital satellite and cable channels. It has around 2,000 partner radio stations which take BBC content, and numerous partnerships supplying content to mobile phones. Its international online sites, which include audio and visual content and offer users opportunities to interact directly with world events, receive over 650 million page impressions, attracting around 44 million unique users a month. Listen to BBC World Service on bbcworldservice.com. To find out more about the BBC’s English language offer and subscribe to free e-newsletter, Email Network, visit bbcworldservice.com/schedules.
WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster, producing such celebrated national PBS series as Masterpiece Theatre, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, Arthur and more than a dozen other award-winning primetime, lifestyle and children’s series. Boston’s last remaining independent TV station, WGBH’s local TV productions (among them, Greater Boston, Basic Black and La Plaza), focus on the region’s diverse community, while WGBH Radio engages listeners worldwide through a rich array of on-air, high-definition and online radio services. In addition to co-producing PRI’s The World, WGBH Radio offers listeners a diverse selection of musical, cultural and public affairs programming, including a 24-hour all-classical HD radio channel as well as streaming audio heard by Web surfers around the globe. WGBH also is the leading producer of online content for pbs.org—one of the most-visited dot-org sites on the Internet—and a pioneer in developing educational multimedia and new technologies that make media accessible for people with disabilities. Visit WGBH on the Web at www.wgbh.org.