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CPB Funds $1.3M Expansion of Public Radio Music Format


Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)
Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has announced grants totaling $1.3 million for three public radio stations to implement the Urban Alternative format. The grants to Radio Milwaukee, WJSU/Jackson MS and Minnesota Public Radio will support transitions to locally customized formats using local and national Hip Hop and R&B. CPB Vice President, Radio Jacquie Gales Webb announced the grants today at the virtual Public Radio Program Directors Conference.

CPB support for research and development in 2015 enabled Chicago Public Media to transform its Vocalo online music service into Chicago's Urban Alternative. CPB says the research created a model format that borrows from the popularity of Urban Contemporary while remaining true to public radio's values, connecting urban audiences through music discovery and community engagement. With CPB support, the Urban Alternative format has been adopted by Rocky Mountain Public Media's "The Drop" in Denver, KTSU (The Vibe) in Houston and WNSB (Blazin' Hot 91) in Norfolk.

"The Urban Alternative format has been built by and for a new generation of public radio listeners -- a younger, multicultural community that is creating its own public media sound," said CPB Senior Vice President of Radio, Journalism and CSG Services Kathy Merritt. "CPB is proud to support the expansion of this format, in which the stations are meeting the music and information needs of young, diverse audiences as trusted partners."

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