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CPB Has More Money for Urban Alternative Format

It issues a call for proposals from public stations that would like to adopt the format

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting has money available for public radio stations that want to implement an urban alternative music format, and it’s taking applications.

It wants to hear from stations that qualify for Community Service Grants and that are “interested in attracting multicultural audiences, especially millennials and Generation X, using the urban alternative format.” CPB will provide up to a half million dollars to each recipient.

This initiative began seven years ago and has helped launch the format on stations in Houston; Norfolk, Va., Denver; Jackson, Miss.; Milwaukee; and Minneapolis/St. Paul.

“The new format was built by and for a new generation of public radio listeners,” CPB states in its program material, “a younger, multicultural cohort that would create its own public media mission and sound. The goal was to target an audience between the ages of 18 and 44 and build an innovative service connecting urban audiences through music discovery and community engagement.”

“The research found that a music blend consisting of hip-hop, R&B and urban genres including local music had broad appeal among the target audience and could be successful when complemented with appealing local hosts and focused community and digital engagement,” CPB wrote. “While music styles and categories would vary from market to market, the approach would be positive and family-friendly, remaining true to public radio’s values.”

The latest request for applications seeks to identify additional qualified stations to implement the format. Over 2-1/2 years, CPB would provide recipients with results of format research and recommendations and coaching from a consultant, who would also also assist stations with developing strategies for digital and community engagement, fundraising and development.

Details are in the request for proposals.

[Related: “CPB Funds $1.3 Million Expansion of Public Radio Music Format for Young Audiences”]