NPR CEO Gary Knell: We're Working On Becoming 'Pandora For News'
July 10, 2013 at 4:52 PM (PT)
In a talk with the WALL STREET JOURNAL, NPR CEO GARY KNELL said that the network is working on becoming "a PANDORA for news," allowing for customizable playlists of news.
"We want to have serendipitous listening, not knowing what the next story is, but we've also got to give people the option of a la carte listening, or they will turn to other places," KNELL said, explaining that the system would go through local affiliates so that "(t)here would be a WNYC (NEW YORK) experience or a WAMU (WASHINGTON) experience that combines the news chops of NPR covering the globe with what WNYC is doing locally, so people will continue to give money to WNYC.... if we don't do this we're not going to last." He said that the digital initiatives have lowered the age of NPR's reach, noting that while the average radio listener is 53 years old, iPhone NPR users average 37 years old and NPR MUSIC reaches an average of 28 years old.
He also touched on the network's money situation, saying that the network cannot run "a lot longer" at a deficit, noting that the mandate from NPR's board is for a balanced budget by 2015; the network's various scandals of 2011, saying, "We're trying to expand our guests to more diverse points of view, more diverse racial and ethnic identities, more geographic differences and more age-cohort differences so that we can break the bubble"; and the hiring of the network's first Chief Marketing Officer, which he said is because "there is still 17% of the American public has never heard of NPR."
Read the article and see the interview by clicking here.