PRX Becomes Independent Mass. Non-Profit

As of Jan. 1, PRX is officially PRX, Inc., out on our own as an independent organization. Here’s a letter from Tom Thomas and Terry Clifford of Station Resource Group, our “parent company,” about the successful transition:

With the turn of the year PRX – the Public Radio Exchange – begins an exciting new phase as an independent organization.

In the final days of 2008 the SRG and PRX boards of directors ratified an agreement transferring SRG’s Public Radio Exchange activities and assets to PRX, Inc. As SRG’s stewardship of this unique and important public media asset comes to an end, all of us should be very proud of what we have created and the remarkable accomplishments of the PRX team. PRX leaves SRG with:

      * An amazing audio archive with tens of thousands of pieces ready for broadcast, presentation on the web, and individual listening
      * Thousands of reviews and ratings, the largest body of critical writing about radio productions in the nation
      * Just-launched new generation core software, PRX 3.0, with features and functionality driven by stations’ and producers’ experiences and needs
      * Leading roles in collaborative projects, such as the development of a shared public radio application for the iPhone
      * GenerationPRX, a resource center and exchange for several dozen youth radio groups across the country
      * Respect as an innovator and thought-leader within our field and outside it
      * Core staff with talent and experience in both programming and technology
      * A healthy cash reserve and a budget plan for 2009 in which most of the needed revenue is already committed or identified

PRX, Inc. is a Massachusetts-based nonprofit created by SRG in anticipation of this move. PRX is governed by a station-experienced board chaired by Laurie Ahern, former chair of Puget Sound Public Radio. Other board members include Henry Becton, former President of WGBH, Torey Malatia, President of Chicago Public Radio, and Ashton Peery, who has served as a General Partner of Lucent Venture Partners and as the Chief Strategy Officer and corporate head of Business Development for Lucent Technologies. PRX Executive Director Jake Shapiro is also a member of the board.

The entire PRX staff has moved from SRG to the new company. Long-time SRG Business Manager Kerri Hoffman, who has taken increasing responsibility for PRX activities, will also move to PRX as Associate Director.

The SRG-PRX agreement calls for some continuing links between the two organizations and ongoing reflection of SRG’s interests, including a commitment to a primary PRX focus on public media, an SRG representative on the PRX board, a share for SRG of any “windfall” net revenues from exploitation of the PRX intellectual property, and an ongoing commitment that a third of the PRX board will be individuals who have served as professionals or civic leaders at public radio stations.

We want to acknowledge the risk takers with whom we have worked to reach this point. We have collaborated with independent producer Jay Allison and Atlantic Public Media for the past seven years. Funders at the National Endowment for the Arts, NTIA’s Telecommunications opportunities Program, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Ford, MacArthur, Surdna, and Soros Foundations have made PRX possible. And the hundreds of producers and stations who are PRX members and supporters.

We wish PRX the very best going forward. We look forward to working with PRX as a full partner in building the next generation of public media service.

Terry Clifford & Tom Thomas

PRX Executive Director, Jake Shapiro, is unavailable for comment at this time (due to big family news) but plans to follow-up with more details on this important PRX transition.