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WFAE Uses NPR One to Better Connect with Listeners

Lessons learned will be shared with other public radio stations

Research about the listening habits of millennials suggests that they’re a different breed. They’re just as passionate about radio, and public radio in particular, as older listeners. But they tend to use it in different ways. They usually lean towards consuming content on-demand through mobile devices, rather than listening to the radio in real time. WFAE(FM), a public radio station located in Charlotte, N.C., is looking for ways to better capitalize on this trend.

Charlotte is one of the country’s fastest growing cities, with a rapidly increasing young ethnically and racially diverse population. To better engage with them, WFAE will use NPR One to deliver new local content, and use fresh local voices to report on area events. To oversee it all, the station will hire an on-demand producer. They will also develop podcasts, uncover unique, untold stories and create content to serve diverse audiences. The community will be asked to share their ideas for topics and stories.

The data generated by the NPR One application at WFAE will help to improve the user experience by gaining a better understanding of audience preferences. This information will also be used to help turn dedicated listeners into station members, and these best practices will be shared with other public radio stations.

Funding to develop this approach to journalism will be provided by the Knight Foundation, which has made many investments in this area, including the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative, which helps advance digital transformations at local news organizations across the country.