WNYC raises nearly $63 million in capital campaign

Published in Current, Feb. 17, 2009
By Karen Everhart

New York’s WNYC Radio crossed the finish line of its four-year capital campaign this month, having raised $62.9 million—about 9 percent more than its original $57.5 million goal.

Most of the money — about $45 million — backed the station’s move into a new all-digital broadcast facility in lower Manhattan last year. The remainder supports new programming initiatives, including the national morning news program The Takeaway. The campaign included two record-setting gifts of $6 million each — the largest ever to a public radio station, according to WNYC—from the Jerome L. Greene Foundation and the Kaplen Foundation. The street-level broadcast and performance studio in WNYC’s new building has been named the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, or "the Greene Space." The station will celebrate the studio’s opening with a 10-day festival starting April 28.

Every member of the WNYC Board and more than 8,000 listeners contributed to the campaign. Big gifts included $4 million each from the Ford Foundation and the state, and $10.8 million from the City of New York — the self-same governmental entity that charged the nonprofit $20 million for its municipal stations a dozen years ago. A $2.5 million challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation encouraged donors to help complete the campaign.

“The challenge of this campaign was to make sure our donors understood why WNYC wasn’t just another radio station but an influential cultural organization with the potential to take its place among a handful of important institutions in New York City,” said Alexander Kaplen, campaign chair and WNYC trustee.

Web page posted Feb. 16, 2009
Copyright 2009 by Current LLC


Suddenly, a sense of new possibilities: WNYC buys its independence, 1996.

WNYC launches The Takeaway with plans to steer clear of ruts, 2007.


WNYC press release.

Audio: WNYC President Laura Walker begins WNYC broadcasts in June from the station's new headquarters at 160 Varick St., south of Greenwich Village and north of Tribeca.

Twelve years ago the city sold two stations to public radio for $20 million. Now they're sending $10.8 million back. The slide show.

The Greene Space, at street level in the new building, opens in April with a 10-day festival.


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