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NPR to Acquire Public Interactive

PRI founded PI with support from 15 public broadcasting licensees to serve stations’ unmet online needs.

Public Interactive, the public media Web services company begun by Public Radio International nine years ago, will soon become part of National Public Radio. The price and deal structure were not disclosed.

PRI will manage sales and marketing for PI through a transition period, which is expected to run until the end of this year. The companies said Debra May Hughes, president and chief operating officer of PI since 2005, would continue in that role.

PI will act as a neutral utility serving all of public media, similar in philosophy to public broadcasting’s satellite distribution systems. It will also continue to operate as a fee-for-services business.

PRI and NPR said they will work together and with other noncom industry leaders on several significant, immediate steps to further PI’s growth and services, including conducting a station consultation process, supporting editorial collaboration, and establishing common standards and interoperability across public media.

PRI founded PI with support from 15 public broadcasting licensees to serve stations’ unmet online needs. It now has 170 subscribers who collectively operate 325 public radio and television stations.

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