Knight Foundation Backs WNYC and PRI’s The Takeaway with John Hockenberry and Adaora Udoji

Press contact: Jennifer Houlihan / WNYC Associate Director, Publicity (212) 669-7748 /


(April 18, 2008 – New York, NY) -- The Takeaway with John Hockenberry and Adaora Udoji, an innovative new national news program for morning drive time, gears up for its April 28 debut on public radio with $2 million in lead foundation support to WNYC from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The Takeaway is a unique partnership of global news leaders. It is a co-production of Public Radio International and WNYC Radio, in collaboration with the BBC World Service, The New York Times, and WGBH Boston.

Knight Foundation, the nation's leading journalism funder, made the grant to expand America’s public radio audience through an ambitious interactive web site and diverse local, national and international coverage.

The gift was announced by WNYC President and CEO Laura Walker this week at the Paley Center, at which Takeaway hosts described the role of public radio along with WNYC host Brian Lehrer, On the Media’s Brooke Gladstone, and Studio 360’s Kurt Andersen. Hosts Hockenberry and Udoji stressed the show’s innovative spirit, listener participation and their quest for an expanded audience.

The new morning program hopes to frame a civil, civic conversation throughout the day at Listeners will share their personal perspectives with other listeners. The show will use the latest digital tools to build content and community. Hockenberry, an MIT Media Lab fellow, is a driving force behind the use of the new journalism technology.

"Quality news has an audience. Public radio has grown rapidly in America this past decade. We think this new program will help that audience grow even larger,” said Eric Newton, vice president of journalism programs at Knight Foundation. “We hope The Takeaway will change everyone’s idea of what public radio can do.”

“Knight Foundation is a leader in supporting journalism that empowers and engages communities through advances in digital media,” said Laura Walker, the President and CEO of WNYC. “We’re honored that Knight has so generously supported The Takeaway. We are committed to the journalistic standards that they have so forcefully supported over their many years of service to the American public.”

"Knight is helping to break new ground and strengthen our capacity to help listeners make connections between local, national, and international issues and ideas,” said Alisa Miller, President and CEO of PRI. “We are striving to do our part to fulfill a growing and urgent need to provide engaging journalism of the highest quality.”

The Takeaway launches on air and online on Monday, April 28 on WNYC in New York, WGBH in Boston, WEAA in Baltimore, and other markets around the country. It will introduce a live, conversational tone to public radio morning drive, while retaining public radio’s core values of credible journalism and civil conversation. will serve as a virtual public square, and will feature audio, video, opinion, frequent news updates and listener engagement tools.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities where the brothers owned newspapers. Since 1950 the foundation has granted more than $400 million in journalism. Knight focuses on ideas and projects that create transformational change. For more, visit

Public Radio International leads media by producing, acquiring and distributing innovative content that enables U.S. audiences to "hear a different voice." PRI brings new voices, global journalism and cultural perspectives to 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. Its content is broadcast and streamed online by 827 PRI affiliates nationwide. The broadcasts reach more than 29 million listeners weekly. Its podcasts consistently rank in the top U.S. 100. For more, visit .

WNYC Radio is New York's premier public radio broadcaster. Its stations, WNYC 93.9 FM and WNYC AM 820, are America's most listened-to on public radio. More than one million listeners weekly share in the city’s cultural riches and hear the best offerings from affiliate networks National Public Radio, Public Radio International and American Public Media. WNYC 93.9 FM broadcasts daily news, talk, cultural and classical music programming. WNYC AM 820 focuses on breaking news and international reporting. For more, visit .

BBC World Service is an international radio and online broadcaster delivering programs and services in 33 languages. It reaches 183 million listeners globally. It has 2,000 partner radio stations, including 400 n the United States. Its international online sites, which include audio and visual content, offer users a way to interact directly with world events. They attract 40 million unique users a month. For more, visit .

The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT) is a leading media company with 2007 revenues of $3.2 billion. The company includes The New York Times, the International Herald Tribune, The Boston Globe, 15 other daily newspapers, WQXR-FM and more than 50 web sites, including, and The company’s purpose is to enhance society by creating, collecting and distributing high-quality news, information and entertainment.

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 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 Radio Boston broadcasts on WGBH 89.7, Boston's NPR arts and culture station; WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR Station; All-Classical WGBH HD2; and a variety of on-demand streams and podcasts. For more, visit .