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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.

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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.

St. Louis Public Radio Collaborating on New Programs Beginning July 1

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning ~  Benjamin Franklin

Growth and progress often are accompanied by change.  And change is coming to the St. Louis Public Radio program lineup beginning Monday, July 1.

Our move to Grand Center last year initiated a significant effort by St. Louis Public Radio to strengthen our connection across the St. Louis region. The updated program schedule that begins in July will reflect that approach through an expanded effort of collaboration with producers of other public radio programs.

Takeaway_logo

At 11 a.m. each weekday, we’re excited to announce that The Takeaway, with host John Hockenberry, will begin airing on Monday, July 1.  The program is a unique partnership of global news leaders PRI (Public Radio International) and WNYC/New York Public Radio in collaboration with The New York Times and WGBH/Boston.

As outlined in a New York Times article from April, The Takeaway has recently taken on a new approach that includes more perspectives from reporters at local stations, instead of presenting a purely national perspective.  We’re excited about this opportunity to give our excellent team of reporters and producers at St. Louis Public Radio a new venue to showcase their expertise and connect the stories and issues in St. Louis with a national audience.

In addition, some of you may remember John Hockenberry as the first host of Talk of the Nation!

Here’s a sample from a recent broadcast from The Takeaway.

With this same concept in mind, we’ll also begin airing Here & Now from NPR with co-hosts Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson at 1 p.m. This news magazine covers news that breaks between Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

As with The Takeaway, St. Louis Public Radio will be one of several local stations around the country that will be collaborating to provide news features and other content for the program. As a contributing station, we’ll have the chance to bring a distinctly St. Louis perspective to national stories.

Here-Now-Logo

You can listen to a sample from a recent Here and Now broadcast below to give you a taste of what you’ll hear beginning on July 1.

These additions are precipitated of course by the discontinuation on NPR’s Talk of the Nation. NPR notified us in March of its decision to cease production of the program. The final broadcast of Talk of the Nation and Science Friday will be Friday, June 28.

In coordination with these additions, St. Louis on the Air/Cityscape will move to a new time at 12 p.m. The noon hour is one of the most coveted times in radio, and the move will let us really showcase our local talk shows. Fresh Air will then move to 9 p.m. We will no longer air the second hour of On Point.

All of these changes begin on Monday, July 1.

We also have one additional change to our weekend lineup starting Sunday, July 7.  We’re pleased to be adding the TED Radio Hour with host Guy Raz to our Sunday lineup at 1 p.m. Based on fascinating TEDTalks given by riveting speakers on the renowned TED stage, the show tackles astonishing inventions, fresh approaches to old problems and new ways to think and create. Studio 360 will move to Fridays at 11 p.m.

Thank you for your wonderful support for St. Louis Public Radio this year. We look forward to hearing from you regarding these new additions to our line-up.

Here’s a short list of all of the changes:

  • At 11 a.m., each weekday, The Takeaway will air.
  • St. Louis on the Air/Cityscape will move to 12 p.m. (noon) each weekday.
  • Here & Now will air each weekday at 1 p.m.
  • Fresh Air will move to 9 p.m. each weeknight.
  • We will be adding the TED Radio Hour on Sundays at 1 p.m. (starting July 7)
  • Studio 360 will move to Fridays at 11 p.m.
  • Talk of the Nation is ceasing production and will be leaving our air.
  • We will no longer air Talk of the Nation Science Friday after June 28.
  • We will no longer air the second hour of On Point.

Quincy Public Radio | 90.3 WQUB to Debut This Evening As Part of the St. Louis Public Radio Network

The University of Missouri-St. Louis completed its purchase of WQUB 90.3 FM from Quincy University today.  Now part of the St. Louis Public Radio network, WQUB will be called Quincy Public Radio and will begin broadcasting this evening.

Quincy Public Radio listeners will not only be able to continue enjoying signature public radio programs such as Morning Edition, All Things Considered, The Diane Rehm Show, Fresh Air and Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, but they will now be able to also hear other signature programs such as Talk of the Nation, Marketplace, Car Talk, This American Life and A Prairie Home Companion.

“This move will ensure that public radio will remain a valuable asset in the Quincy region now and in the future,” said St. Louis Public Radio and Quincy Public Radio general manager Tim Eby.  “On the air and in the community, we are committed to providing Quincy Public Radio listeners the best service possible.”

A complete Quincy Public Radio broadcast schedule is available at www.quincypublicradio.org or by calling 866-240-5968.

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St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU and Quincy Public Radio | 90.3 WQUB provide the St. Louis and Quincy regions award-winning, in-depth news, insightful discussion, and entertaining programs that focus on the issues and people who shape our communities, our country and our world. Signature programs include: Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Fresh Air, This American Life, Marketplace, Car Talk, St. Louis on the Air, BBC World Service, The Tavis Smiley Show, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! and A Prairie Home Companion.

St. Louis Public Radio, which broadcasts in HD on 90.7, 90.7-2 and 90.7-3, reaches nearly 235,000 people each week in the bi-state area. Quincy Public Radio, which broadcasts in HD on 90.3, reaches nearly 150,000 people each week throughout nine counties in western Illinois and northeastern Missouri.

 

St. Louis Public Radio | 90.7 KWMU and Quincy Public Radio | 90.3 WQUB are member-supported services of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

 

 

 

Fiscal Year-End Highlights

June 30th marked the end of our 2012 fiscal year and it has been another amazing year at St. Louis Public Radio. First, here are a few quick bullet points that highlight the year:
St. Louis Public Radio mobile app

  • Started broadcasting from UMSL at Grand Center on June 18, 2012
  • Received a $1 Million pledge from Monsanto for UMSL at Grand Center
  • Estimated surplus at fiscal year-end of more than $200,000 – an operating surplus of approximately 4% of revenue
  • A 4% increase in overall revenue including a 4% increase in individual giving and 2% growth in corporate sponsorship billing
  • Unveiled new mobile app for the iPhone, iPad and Android devices that resulted in a 150% increase in listening to our three webstreams
  • St. Louis Public Radio news reporters recognized with seven awards for journalism excellence from the Missouri State Teachers Association, Missouri Broadcasters Association, and the Illinois Associated Press.
  • 2013 St. Louis Arts award recipient from the Arts & Education Council as “Champion For The Arts” and St. Louis Magazine’s “A” List for classical music programming.
  • Sponsored more than 80 community events focusing on the arts, science, education, literacy, cultural diversity, green living, civil discourse and community development. This list of events includes the two most-successful blood drives in the history of the station, a symposium on entrepreneurial business start-up and development, an international business career conference, and awards ceremonies honoring St. Louisans for their contributions to the arts and business communities.

These bullet points are highlights but the year also included on-going excellence in our news and programming areas. You regularly hear our reporters from St. Louis Public Radio on national programs like Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Marketplace. St. Louis on the Air continues to discuss the important issues facing our region and Cityscape serves as a connector to the arts in St. Louis. Our web site and social media efforts have evolved to serve a new platform for audience engagement and public service.

In May, we announced the intent to acquire WQUB-FM from Quincy University. WQUB is the public radio station service more than 120,000 people in and around Quincy, IL and serves as a northern extension of our coverage area. The costs of this acquisition should be around $100,000 with our business plan calling for operating the station in the black in three years. The most important aspect of this acquisition is that we have preserved the public radio service for this community.

Also in May we completed the second year of live Saturday evening broadcasts of the St. Louis Symphony from Powell Hall. These broadcasts have been a resounding success in audience and financial terms for the station. We begin season three in September as neighbors to the Symphony where we envision new opportunities for collaboration.

On the subject of collaboration, we end our fiscal year beginning an exciting project with the St. Louis Beacon and the Nine Network of Public Media focused on the 2012 election and government accountability. Beyond November, with funding from the Deer Creek Foundation, will be our first serious collaborative effort with our new Grand Center neighbors. We view this collaboration as a test effort for future opportunities.

We also initiated another partnership this year with Sauce Magazine that explores the food culture of St. Louis. Sound Bites is heard monthly on Cityscape and has been very well received by our listeners.

Our fundraising efforts were highlighted by significant growth (up 18%) in gifts of $1,000 or more and with the expansion of our sustaining membership program. We now have 26% (5,300) of all current donors in our sustaining membership program.

Finally, from a financial standpoint, our expected surplus this year will bring our case reserve up to approximately $1.7 million. It’s a tribute to the station’s staff that we went from no cash in reserve to where we are now in just four years.

Thanks for your great support of the station this year. Looking forward to a very exciting FY 2013!

Tim

User-centered approach yields big growth in online audience

stlpublicradio-dot-org screenshotIn the past year, audience growth on St. Louis Public Radio’s digital platforms has been tremendous. Comparing this January to last, our number of unique visitors to the site has increased by 90 percent. Additionally, the number of people listening to our online streams has more than doubled. For all of our streams combined during January 2012, we had a cumulative audience of 29,892 unique listeners. In January 2011 we had 11,855 unique listeners, a 152 percent increase.

We attribute the launch of our mobile apps to some of that increase. The apps are currently available for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices, with plans for Kindle and possibly Nook. To date, across all platforms the mobile apps have received 5,287 downloads.

Social media drives traffic to the site as well, though not as often as one might think. The number of referrals from Facebook and Twitter together during January was 4,852, with individuals visiting multiple times counted for each visit.

So with 39,859 more unique visitors to our site this January compared to last, we have to attribute much of our success to our increased focus on frequent online news updates. The current website was launched in December of 2010, with a dramatic shift in strategy. The newer design puts our visitors’ needs first in that its main function is to deliver content—not content promoting the station, but our award-winning regional news coverage and programming. Since the change to the website, for the first time we saw our news stories among the top-ten most-viewed pages on the site. As a news organization with a mission to be a trusted source of information, this is right where they should be.

Our “Listen Live” page has been our most popular page probably since the earliest days of kwmu.org. There’s no doubt that the introduction of Classical KWMU-3 and the ability to listen to classical music on our site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week has attracted many more listeners, accounting for much of our year-over-year increase in traffic. The Saturday live broadcasts of the St. Louis Symphony are also popular, attracting listeners from around the globe.

In the next few weeks, we’ll be seeking feedback about the site via an online survey. Using this data, we will continue to evolve the site to meet listener needs. Please participate when you get the chance so that we may be of better service. Thanks for being a fan of www.stlpublicradio.org!

Madalyn Painter
Digital Media Manager

What is our most listened-to hour? Wait Wait … I’ll tell you

Each month we receive information from The Arbitron Company on who and how many people in the St. Louis region listen to St. Louis Public Radio and when and where they’re listening to the station.

For many years, the most listened to hour on St. Louis Public Radio was Car Talk on Saturday morning, but now the torch has been passed an hour later to NPR’s Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!  In the most recent survey period that ended in mid-October, Wait Wait averaged more than 17,000 listeners tuning in to the program between 11 a.m. and 12 noon on Saturday.  This makes up about six percent of the radio listening taking place in the St. Louis region during that hour.

We use this audience information to help us assess the impact that we’re having in the community with our programs.  One of the areas we look at closely is something called “P1 Listeners.”  A “P1” listener to St. Louis Public Radio is best defined as a person who listens more to our station than to any other radio station in the St. Louis region.  Around 55 percent of all our listeners are P1s, showing a tremendous amount of loyalty to the station from those who tune us in each week.  This is a significantly higher percentage than most radio stations.  P1s listen about 50 percent more than the average listener and, not surprisingly, are the people who are much more likely to be members of the station.

Recently we also received a report on the most listened to public radio stations in the country during the Summer 2011 quarter and St. Louis Public Radio did very well in these rankings, ranking in the top 30 in three of the four categories listed.

In addition to the radio audience, we also look at how people are using our web site.  We’ve seen phenomenal growth over the past two years in people using our web site for news as well as streaming one of our three services.  From 2009 to 2011 we’ve seen a 54 percent increase in visitors to our web site.  In fact, in the last year we’ve had more than 1,000,000 visits to the web site.

As more people move to the web and mobile devices, we expect this number to grow significantly in the future.  That’s one of the primary reasons we have invested in our new mobile applications for the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices.  Early reaction and downloads of the mobile apps have been quite positive.

If you’re interested in any other information on our audience, please leave a comment and we’ll try to track it down for you.