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Stations Participate in CPB-Funded Metadata Project

Tornado Alley stations to expand emergency messaging on mobile and other digital platforms

The Public Radio Satellite System has announced that 27 public radio stations are participating in a project aimed at helping them improve and expand their local emergency-messaging capabilities on mobile devices and other digital platforms. The project is being funded by a $419,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The goal of the project is to help stations generate locally produced tornado test alerts and to synchronize these alerts with their audio broadcasts. The stations are located in 10 Midwest, south central, and Gulf Coast states, the area commonly known as “Tornado Alley.” All will be outfitted with the PRSS MetaPub delivery service. Stations involved in this initiative include:

· KASU — Jonesboro, Ark.

· KUAF — Fayetteville, Ark.

· KUAR — Little Rock, Ark.

· KUVO — Denver

· KRCC — Colorado Springs, Colo.

· KUNC — Greeley, Colo.

· WOI — Ames, Iowa

· WVIK — Rock Island, Ill.

· KMUW — Wichita, Kan.

· KANZ — Garden City, Kan.

· KHCC – Hutchison, Kan.

· WRKF — Baton Rouge, La.

· WWNO — New Orleans

· KRVS — Lafayette, La.

· KDAQ — Shreveport, La.

· KCUR — Kansas City, Mo.

· KWMU — St. Louis

· KSMU — Springfield, Mo.

· KBIA — Columbia, Mo.

· KUCV — Lincoln, Neb.

· KGOU — Norman, Okla.

· KOSU — Stillwater, Okla.

· KWGS — Tulsa, Okla.

· KAMU — College Station, Texas

· KPAC — San Antonio

· KTTZ — Lubbock, Texas

· KUHF — Houston

​As part of the CPB grant, the PRSS will ensure that all of these stations have the necessary hardware, software and training to enable the use of MetaPub, a system developed by NPR Distribution that allows local stations to issue text and graphic alerts synchronized with their over-the-air broadcast messages to be heard and seen on mobile phones, HD radios, connected car devices, Radio Data System/RDS displays, and via online streaming.

[Read: CPB Offering $500,000 in Grants for Public Media Stations]

PRSS will also provide extensive engineering support and conduct quality-assurance tests. Participating stations will provide feedback about the installation and implementation of MetaPub and ways to improve usage that may help not only their communities but communities across the country.

“This is a particularly exciting project for us because not only does it continue our collaboration with CPB to improve emergency communications capabilities in the radio industry, it also lets us work with our stations to share and implement the MetaPub system,” said Michael Beach, vice president of NPR Distribution, which manages the PRSS. “Our goal is to capitalize on the power of MetaPub’s use of metadata, and we are very thankful to CPB for continuing to work with us on making that happen.”

Stations participating in the project have reported that listeners are already responding positively to metadata-enhanced broadcasts.