PRI (Public Radio International) and PRX announced today that they are merging. The new public media company “will support the next generation of creatives, aiming to serve listeners who demand the highest-quality content,” according to the announcement.
Kerri Hoffman, CEO of PRX, will become CEO of the new organization. Alisa Miller, CEO of PRI, will elevate to Executive Chair of the new organization’s board of directors during its first year.
“We believe strong media is anchored in trusted journalism, strengthened by new voices and amplified by innovative technology,” said Hoffman. “This merger intensifies our focus on helping creative producers and institutions build audience and grow revenue.”
“Our field – for all its excellence and success, and the passion of its core constituencies – must respond to a profoundly changing marketplace to meet the heightened needs of the public,” said Miller. “By approaching PRX, PRI opened the door to the promise of joining together. Working with our stations, producers and partners, we can ensure that public media is a vibrant source of inspiration, fact, and empathy, especially in these complex times.”
Fueling the combined organization will be a $10 million commitment from WGBH/Boston, the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the web. The funds will be directed to new content development, including enhancements to PRI’s The World®, the creation of an audio production studio, and to open new PRX Podcast Garages beyond the flagship Boston location.
“Our support of this bold merger extends WGBH’s commitment to a strong public media system and as a champion of creative collaborations and content production,” said WGBH CEO Jon Abbott. “Both PRI and PRX are innovators, and we know that together they will have a transformative impact at a time when there is tremendous hunger for new ideas and approaches in media.”
The new company will continue to produce their programming and podcasts, while also continuing to bolster training programs for producers, support RadioPublic, a company focused on driving podcast listener discovery, engagement and revenue for creators, and develop proprietary ad technology for podcasts. The new company will be headquartered in Boston, with offices in Minneapolis and New York.
The new company will be an independent organization and will report to a board of directors that combines the PRI and PRX boards. Abbott will have a board seat. WGBH and PRI have co-produced content, including PRI’s The World®, for two decades, and WGBH has partnered with PRX to expand its work in podcasting. This merger extends a strategic partnership with WGBH aimed at innovation and growth. Erik Langner of Public Media Company will facilitate and finalize the merger in the fall of 2018.