The St. Louis Beacon and St. Louis Public Radio have merged today. The purpose and direction of the new organization are clear — to serve the public with the highest quality reporting on local news and issues. But many details remain a work in progress as we officially begin our work together as one newsroom.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the merger:
How long has this been in the works?
In October 2012, we announced the intent to explore an alliance. In January 2013, we started working with the independent consulting firm Coats2Coats to identify the best path forward.
What will the new organization be called?
We don’t know yet. We’re currently working with TOKY, a local independent branding and design firm, to answer that question. In the meantime, we have co-branded many of our platforms.
Where will I be able to find the content?
We’ll be one organization, so all new content will be on the co-branded St. Louis Public Radio and Beacon website. Beacon reporters will also contribute to the on-air content on 90.7 FM. The previous Beacon website will refer you to the co-branded St. Louis Public Radio website for some time. And, until we can get the archives imported, you’ll be able to see past stories on the Beacon site. There will be one newsroom located in St. Louis Public Radio’s building, UMSL at Grand Center.
What about e-mail newsletters?
Subscribers to the Beacon’s e-mails will be added to the merged organization’s daily news e-mail and general e-update lists. You can edit your preferences at stlpublicradio.org.
What will the budget be?
The annual budget will be about $7 million.
How much did this merger cost?
Because St. Louis Public Radio and the Beacon are nonprofit organizations, this was not a traditional purchase or acquisition. Together, the organizations have been raising $3 million in special funding over the next five years for the new organization. Of that total, $2.5 million has already been pledged in private funds.
How many employees will the new organization have?
The combined staff will total about 60 people, with roughly 40 dedicated to the reporting, editing, and production of content on air, online and in other ways.
For more information about the combined organization, see Editor Margie Freivogel’s welcome letter.