Original Story posted on Inside Radio
Date: April 2, 2020
In a series of “Crisis Innovations on the Fly” blog posts, Paragon Media Strategies founder Mike Henry has been highlighting how public radio music stations are reacting to the COVID-19 outbreak. Now Henry is expanding the collaboration effort with a new Facebook private group, “COVID-19 Collaboration for the Public Radio Music Community.”
The Facebook group features responses from the 25 public radio music stations that have been highlighted in his three blog posts. Each post on the Facebook page is tagged with appropriate topic names, such as “Features,” “Artist Support” and “Music.” Henry asks group members to tag their posts with the appropriate topic names to make it easier for other members to search.
“This page is for you to collaborate and communicate with each other from here,” Henry writes in a note to public radio music stations shared with Inside Radio. “Paragon will not act as the middle person moving forward… this page is all yours now to grow and utilize as you wish and however it serves your own needs to collaborate and benefit as a programmer, station and as a group of music stations with common goals.” A number of participants requested the creation of the Facebook group, Henry says.
In his blog posts, Henry provides examples of programming changes and features stations have been doing in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
American Public Media Group adult alternative “The Current” KCMP Minneapolis (89.3) “has multiple new additions, including a “Daily Gig List” feature that quickly morphed into a “Gig Cancellation List” and now into a “Virtual Gig List,” Henry writes in the post “Crisis Innovations on the Fly – Part III.”
Variety-formatted KEXP-FM Seattle (90.3) “is now in the process of editing a back log of live performance videos that they’ve captured and will be posting three new live sessions a week,” Henry says in Part II of the blog series. “They’ve also put together a Virtual Events Calendar in an effort to connect listeners with artists and also to give listeners an opportunity to experience live music and are hosting some of these on their Facebook page, which enables them to keep some of the traffic on their platform.”
University of Pennsylvania adult alternative WXPN Philadelphia (88.5) takes a “strong multi-pronged digital approach with text-based interviews on their website and socials,” Henry posted in the first installment of the series. The station is also posting “XPN Quarantine Playlists” curated by hosts and musicians, while afternoon personality Dan Reed has launched a daily “Checking In With…” feature, where he talks with artists on how they’re dealing with the pandemic while sharing some of their favorite songs.
The Facebook group has been shared with the PRPD (Public Radio Program Directors Association) and the NFCB (National Federation of Community Broadcasters) to increase the reach and collaboration efforts. “This benefits stations, artists, audiences and communities around America,” Henry writes in his note to stations. “You are the leaders of this national peer group and I’m sure the rest of these stations will be anxious to see what you are doing, to learn from your ideas, and in turn for you to learn from what others are doing.”
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