Archive | September 2013

The St. Louis Beacon and St. Louis Public Radio: An Update

It was just about a year ago that the St. Louis Beacon and St. Louis Public Radio jointly announced their intention to explore forming an alliance to better serve the St. Louis region through journalism.

STL Beacon

Through the past year we have been investigating how, by bringing our two organizations together, we can better serve the St. Louis region.  Through this exploration we have come to believe that high quality journalism is an important component in creating a narrative about the challenges and realizations of a region reinventing itself.  By providing deep reporting, thoughtful discussion and interesting perspectives on key questions, citizens in the region will gain a better understanding of the important issues happening in our region.

Our two organizations combined will have nearly 40 news and content staff producing audio, text, video, data, and photography across digital and broadcast platforms.  Of course this is in addition to programs and content from our public radio partners on-air and on-line.

The discussions of the merger over the past year have also triggered exciting academic and research initiatives in a three-way partnership with the University of Missouri – St. Louis’ College of Fine Arts and Communication, and the University of Missouri – Columbia’s School of Journalism.
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Through this partnership utilizing UMSL at Grand Center (the home of St. Louis Public Radio) as a base, UMSL and UMC are cooperatively investing further convergent media opportunities and research in emerging technology and interactive design, where best practices learned from the Reynolds Journalism Institute are being used to develop models for sustaining quality, multi-platform journalism in metropolitan areas.

This vision was presented earlier this month to the Board of Curators of University of Missouri System, the governing authority for St. Louis Public Radio, UMSL, and UMC. The proposal was enthusiastically received by the Curators and we have been given the go ahead to formalize an agreement between the Beacon, the University and St. Louis Public Radio that the curators can consider for approval at their next meeting in November.

As a follow-up to the Curators meeting earlier this month, Board Chair Wayne Goode and University system President Timothy Wolfe sent a letter to stakeholders of our two organizations outlining why the prospect of the merger is so exciting.

“The list of partners at both the regional and national levels for this endeavor is amazing.  We recognize that the world of media is watching this with keen interest.  We are proud of this pioneering effort in the future of media and journalism…

To learn more about this effort, you can read a report from Coats2Coats Consulting from our initial work on the merger that was funded through a grant from The Knight Foundation.  If you’re interested in learning more about the merger, please email teby@stlpublicradio.org.

Science Friday and Fresh Air Return

Proving that a public radio station can listen as well as broadcast, we have made some programming changes after receiving member and listener feedback regarding our July programming changes.

sciencefridayEffective Friday, September 27, 2013 and Monday, September 30, 2013:

  • Science Friday returns to the KWMU and WQUB lineup beginning Friday, September 27, 2013 and will air Fridays from 1-2 p.m. and again from 9-10 p.m.
  • Fresh Air will regain an afternoon slot on Monday-Thursday from 1-2 p.m. It will also remain on the schedule in the evenings from  9-10 p.m.
  • Here and Now will air from 2-3 p.m. Monday-Friday. We will continue our collaboration with Here and Now to bring reports from St. Louis to the national program on a regular basis.
Terry Gross

Fresh Air host Terry Gross. Photo credit Will Ryan

“We made the decision to bring back Science Friday and move Fresh Air back to the afternoon as a result of feedback from our listeners and members,” said General Manager Tim Eby.  “Public radio listeners are passionate and loyal people, and we truly value their opinions and their support.”

>> See our full schedule

Geri Mitchell is your new morning voice at St. Louis Public Radio

We are pleased to announce that Geri Mitchell has been named the new Morning Host at St. Louis Public Radio and Quincy Public Radio. Geri will begin her hosting duties on Morning Edition this Monday, September 23 at 5 a.m.

gerimitchellphotoSince 2009, Geri has been a familiar weekend voice on St. Louis Public Radio–heard mostly on Saturday afternoons. She is also a familiar voice for listeners to The Gateway | KWMU-2.

Mitchell is a 21-year veteran of radio and has spent time at KUSA, KEZK, KYKY, KSD and KMOX.

Geri has an MBA in Business Marketing from the University of Phoenix and a B.S. in Mass Communications/Journalism from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

The Public Radio “Community”

One of the most rewarding aspects of working in public radio is that we know our listeners care about and are highly engaged in their community.

Public radio listeners have high levels of participation in all forms of public discourse, from contacting the media to attending public meetings. Listeners are vocal advocates for causes they support, and have strong community ties that give them disproportionate influence in their social and political networks.

NPR Listeners Love Their Communities (1280x1097)

That is why through our work we seek to illuminate, investigate, challenge and celebrate what it means to be a St. Louisan, and through these efforts connect you to stories and events from places nearby and far away.

Our efforts should:

  • Help individuals live a more thoughtful and fulfilling life and be better prepared to make decisions and take action;
  • Help our region appreciate its culture, recognize its strengths, understand its challenges, and embrace its opportunities;
  • Help our democracy by ensuring that everyone has access to information they need to understand the events and ideas that shape our world.

This work is made possible through individuals, businesses, and institutions who support us.  Thanks.