Public Radio Conference to End

Public Radio Conference to End
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National Public Radio is ditching the Public Radio Conference.
The upcoming conference May 14-18 in New Orleans is the last in its current format. In a letter to affiliates, NPR EVP Ken Stern and VP for Member & Program Services Dana Davis Rehm stated that "the growth of other significant public radio forums and meetings, declining attendance and recent financial constraints" drove the decision about the show.
NPR said attendance for the PRC is 60% of what it had been at its peak, which works out to a few hundred attendees. NPR plans to survey members about the kind of show that would work best, given events that compete for attendees such as NPR's Engineering Conference, the Station Resource Group, Public Radio Program Directors, Music Personnel Conference and NFCB.
"While these meetings are not a substitute for the PRC, their practical value has led to a real and material drop in the strength of support for an annual industry-wide conference," the authors stated. Given the multiple opportunities for interaction in the public radio system, an annual PRC is hard to justify in tight financial times, they said.
NPR isn’t the only organization looking hard at its conventions. The NAB board recently instructed its staff to study its fall Radio Show and consider ways to improve or change it.

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