Monday roundup: WNYC gets $10 million, POV pairs with NYT, PRPD elects directors

By Dru Sefton

• WNYC/New York Public Radio is receiving the largest grant ever given to a public radio station, it announced today. The pubcaster will use the $10 million from the Jerome L. Greene Foundation for digital innovation and to support its Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, keeping ticket prices low for events there. Also today, the station introduced a new Discover feature to its WNYC app, allowing listeners to create and download curated playlists with a function that “blends personal preferences with an element of surprise,” it said in the announcement.

POV‘s new online documentary collaboration with the New York Times kicked off over the weekend with an in-depth look at a group of developmentally challenged men who survived decades of neglect in a small Iowa town. The Men of Atalissa, produced by the Times, was posted on both websites March 8. An article by reporter Dan Barry appeared on the Times‘ site, and POV.org carried a behind-the-scenes online interview with Barry and co-producer Kassie Bracken. “Documentaries and journalism are natural allies, and our collaboration with The New York Times represents the best of both worlds,” said Cynthia Lopez, co-executive producer of POV.

• The Public Radio Program Directors Association (PRPD) has elected three new directors to its board, it announced March 6: Michael Arnold of Wisconsin Public Radio, who previously chaired the board from 1999-2004; Dale Spear of WFAE, Charlotte, N.C.; and Keith Neisler of KUT, Austin, Texas. The three will be seated in April at a spring board meeting and retreat. PRPD President Arthur Cohen said the organization was “fortunate to have such a large number of highly qualified candidates, which resulted in a record number of ballots and a very close election.” Retiring from the board are Todd Mundt, NPR Digital Services; Jeff Hansen, KUOW, Seattle; and Jo Anne Wallace, KQED, San Francisco.

• An ad campaign urging WGBH employees and members to help a climate-change education group oust David Koch from the station board launched today in Boston. “Do you think public broadcasting’s largest producer should have board members who spend millions trying to convince the world climate change doesn’t even exist? Neither do we,” reads the billboard, sponsored by Forecast the Facts. The billboard refers to a site with an online petition that is nearing its goal of 40,000 signatures.

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