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National Public Radio Focuses on ‘NPR’ Brand

But can an acronym tell the story?

Some radio industry folks gave RadioShack a hard time recently when that company began calling itself, at least informally, “The Shack,” playing down the “Radio” part of its name.

So what are we to make of things when National Public Radio does the same?

Listeners and industry insiders of course have long called NPR by its initials; but now the organization has begun making a concerted effort to call itself “NPR” and has asked staffers and affiliate stations to use the initials, rather than the full name.

Much like other media, CEO Vivian Schiller is quoted in the Washington Post saying the network is distributing its content on platforms beyond radio these days, through a website and mobile devices, and it makes sense to re-brand.

However the company is not legally changing its name.

A spokeswoman told Radio World the organization prefers to be called NPR and it’s doing business using the acronym, which is a trademarked brand.

At least one critic says NPR risks diluting its image by getting away from using the word “public.”