Happy Birthday PRX

Extending the shelf life of great content in public radio is undoubtedly a good idea.

How to do it – physically – has drastically changed over PRX’s relatively short lifespan.

Before PRX was a twinkle in the eye of SRG  and Jay Allison, Bill Thomas  of North Dakota Public Radio instituted the “tape exchange” to do just that. Years later, deliberating on an NEA panel, Jay Allison and Terry Clifford hatched the idea of a new service that would use the power of the Internet to give producers access to audiences while showcasing innovation at the station level.

The idea took hold by combining the resources and credibility of major public radio stations, the strategic expertise of Terry Clifford and Tom Thomas with the creativity of Jay Allison. And they called it….

Interested Stations Group

“ The basic ante is this: Each interested station commits to providing weekly flexible time in the schedule. The time will be at reasonable hours, i.e. not 2am.”

Then…

Into-the-Air

“ To facilitate the relationship between radio artists and local public radio stations by creating new opportunities for producing, showcasing and distributing work. In-the-Air is a flexible vehicle that creates an opportunity for the local curator to feature independent radio producers, local station productions, and even the work of audience members.“

Then…

The Radio Exchange

“ The Radio Exchange is a decentralized partnership linking stations committed to program innovation and independent, station-based, and network producers whose work doesn’t fit conventional national vehicles and schedules–a web-based buffet from which stations each week pluck extraordinary, peer-reviewed content to assemble unique and compelling programming and enrich their public service.”

Then…

The Public Radio Exchange

“Making public radio more public”

Ultimately to…   PRX

“Our Vision is an informed society, connected by shared stories and inspired to improve lives and communities. Our Mission is to harness technology to bring significant stories to millions of people.”

As the name took hold, so did the service.  Jake Shapiro  joined as founding executive director and brought on Steve Schultze to oversee the design and functionality of PRX 1.0, launched 10 years ago. Kerri Hoffman, (then of SRG) jumped in to help with business operations. Today, a talented staff works tirelessly to improve the core service, advocate for compelling content and add more tools that benefit the mission of public radio.

Happy Birthday PRX – thank you Tom, Terry and Jay. Thank you Bill Thomas and thank you founding stations for your willingness to experiment and innovate.

Founding stations include: KQED, KUOW, KUT, WBEZ, WGBH, WKSU, WNYC, WPSU, WUNC, WVPE, WYSO

Cheers to our current and past employees who have contributed untold amounts of energy, enthusiasm and dedication to an impactful service.

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