Story by Ava Chuppe
WKMS Station Manager Chad Lampe was one of three public radio station representatives chosen by NPR for its Public Radio Incubation Lab.
The 16-week project will center on generating ideas for real-world solutions to advance the digital network of public radio. As a result, NPR and its member stations will engage new audiences and further support the economic sustainability of radio.
Lampe and the other participants will have four rotations, each lasting four weeks, during which they will propose possible solutions based on their findings from test prototypes. One of the rotations will be a design thinking process at the NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.
NPR Chief Digital Officer Thomas Hjelm said the purpose of the program was to adjust radio stations based on the desires of the audience.
“Public radio’s future depends on its ability to adapt,” Hjelm said. “Facing an increasingly dynamic and crowded media landscape, rapid changes in the needs and behaviors of audiences and the need to find new ways to fortify the revenue models of public radio, NPR and member stations face complex challenges and, too often, limited resources and short-term deadlines.”
Lampe, who will join colleagues from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Seattle, Washington, said the Lab would deepen the relationship between NPR and its member stations.
“This project aligns with the station’s collaborative spirit,” Lampe said. “WKMS is highly leveraged and has extensive experience in multiple collaborative projects inside and outside public media. These projects consistently advance our mission at scale with shared costs and shared responsibilities.”