Sound Affects: Diversity Audience Development Initiative


WNYC, New York Public Radio strives to reflect the diverse city in which we live. As New York's ethnic make-up continues to evolve, WNYC is committed to serving our area's changing needs with radio that enlightens, encourages and empowers our community as a whole.

WNYC launched the Sound Affects Diversity Audience Development Initiative to address our need to expand our reach and widen our listenership. Sound Affects is a programming and outreach plan designed to increase WNYC's diversity by deepening and expanding our community base to broaden our core audience of educated, curious and engaged listeners.


Sound Affects was created to increase awareness of WNYC within culturally diverse communities in the New York Metropolitan area and to help build a more informed public, one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and the arts.

We have four major goals for this project and we are particularly excited about their greater ramifications. What we learn as we pursue these goals will have a powerful, lasting impact on WNYC as an institution - our programming, audience development, staffing and structure.

  • To attract a wider, more diverse audience, both in terms of listenership and membership
  • To continue to build credibility and cultivate meaningful relationships with culturally diverse
  • organizations and key community leaders within ethnic communities
  • To evolve WNYC's overall programming to better reflect stories and people of the city
  • To increase the diversity of WNYC's staff, especially within the news and programming areas



Sound Affects E-Newsletter

Launched in January 2005, the Sound Affects e-newsletter was developed specifically to create and build loyalty among multicultural listeners. The weekly e-newsletter is a celebration of the diverse voices and issues heard on our air. Sound Affects is sent to 11,000+ individuals who signed up to receive the e-newsletter.

E-Partnership Program

The goal of our E-Partnership Program is to build relationships with organizations that serve diverse communities in our area. The partnership model is entirely web and email-based. In exchange for logo exposure and a link in WNYC's Sound Affects e-newsletter and on our website, participating organizations offer logo exposure and a link to WNYC on their website and in one of their e-mail or mail pieces.

Sound Affects Internal Task Force

Comprised of individuals from various departments at the station who are concerned and committed to the organization's diversity efforts, the Internal Task Force meets regularly to discuss ways to bring WNYC Radio to a growing, diverse audience. The group reflects the multifaceted canvas of New York City's population.

Sound Affects Resource Group

WNYC Radio's Sound Affects Resource Group is a multi-cultural/multi-ethnic group of professionals with diverse voices and varied backgrounds. The Resource Group offers feedback about a new local talk show being launched this year. The Resource Group will also help WNYC Community Affairs Department map out town hall meetings we are planning with the new program and The Brian Lehrer Show in New York communities over the next 18 months. They will also assist with encouraging and promoting listenership/membership by helping the station conceptualize special events and programs targeted to diverse ethnic communities.

Goals of the Resource Group include:

  • To identify issues facing ethnic communities, which will help the station determine how to best to reach-out to and serve those communities
  • To assist with pre-launch marketing and overall outreach strategies
  • To assist in outlining and developing long-term audience development plans and activities


Members of the Sound Affects Resource Group:

Jaishri Abichandani, Queens Museum of Art
Mahen Bonetti, African Film Festival
Mae Cheng, Newsday
David Hall, David Hall Music
Hayward Henderson, International Herald Tribune
Jennifer Houlihan, WNYC New York Public Radio
Sandra Jackson-Dumont, Seattle Museum
Jamie Katz, Writer
Neyda Martinez, P.O.V.
Prerana Reddy, Queens Museum of Art
Donna Walker-Kuhne, Walker International Communications Group
Brenda Williams-Butts, WNYC New York Public Radio
Shawn Williams, Consultant