Matter Expands: four media partners join forces

Matter — the mission-driven media accelerator that PRX helped launch back in 2012 — has just announced that four major media companies have joined our community alongside original founding partners PRX, Knight Foundation, and KQED.

You can read more from Matter Managing Partner Corey Ford in his post. Below is also a press release from McClatchy — one of the four new partners — that helps explain their reason for joining.

With our fourth class of startups underway (announcement on who is in the class will be out tomorrow) and these new partners, it’s clear that Matter has reached an important moment of impact in media.

Having helped first developed the concept of the “public media accelerator” that evolved into Matter under Corey’s leadership, it’s exciting to see Matter take shape at the center of a community bringing entrepreneurship, design thinking, and public media values into the tech startup movement.


PRESS RELEASE

McCLATCHY JOINS MEDIA ACCELERATOR MATTER

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 17, 2015 – The McClatchy Company (NYSE: MNI) announced today that it has signed on as a media partner with Matter, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm and incubator that supports promising media startups and entrepreneurs.

“This is a very exciting partnership and opportunity for McClatchy,” said Pat Talamantes, McClatchy president and CEO. “In the midst of our company’s own digital transformation, Matter and the startups it nurtures will provide ideas, innovation and potential new business models for successful media companies of the future.”

In addition to McClatchy, The Associated Press, A.H. Belo Corporation and Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. will join founding media partners KQED Public Media for Northern California, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Public Radio Exchange in support of the Matter program.

The new partnership features a powerful mix of international, national and local media organizations with a vast reach across television, radio, digital and print. The network of media partners gives participating startups extensive mentorship by industry leaders, connections to potential customers and real-world opportunities to test their ideas.

Matter, founded in 2012, brings selected startups together at its San Francisco headquarters that “have potential to become meaningful media institutions of the future – creating a more informed, connected and empowered society.”

Matter invests seed capital and provides an intensive, five-month program for the budding entrepreneurs to refine their business plans, develop prototypes, work collaboratively with other entrepreneurs and learn from leaders in media and technology. The program culminates with “demo days” presentations in San Francisco and New York in front of a select group of investors, media executives, mentors and others.

Matter has a current portfolio of 19 early-stage media ventures.

About McClatchy

The McClatchy Company is a 21st century news and information leader, publisher of iconic brands such as the Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star, The Sacramento Bee, The Charlotte Observer, The (Raleigh) News and Observer, and the (Fort Worth) Star-Telegram. McClatchy operates media companies in 28 U.S. markets in 14 states, providing each of its communities with high-quality news and advertising services in a wide array of digital and print formats. McClatchy is headquartered in Sacramento, Calif., and listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MNI.

Contact: Karole Morgan-Prager
Vice President, Corporate Development,
General Counsel and Corporate Secretary
(916) 321-1828
kmorgan-prager@mcclatchy.com

PRX and jācapps partner on station apps

We are excited to announce that PRX is working with jācapps to transition our station apps work. Jācapps is a great group, they are purely focused on radio apps, and offer stations terrific value. See the press release below for more details.

Four years ago PRX developed our first local station app with WBUR here in Boston, with support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Since then we’ve gone on to build an extraordinary portfolio of apps for stations and programs, including WNYC, KQED, WGBH, KPBS, KCRW, VPR and programs This American Life, Radiolab, and The Moth. We’ve also built apps for our own PRX Remix, and the popular Public Radio Player (over 7 million downloads to date). We’ve learned a lot along the way, and have forged new and lasting relationships with our partners. We are so grateful for the opportunity to learn and innovate together with these remarkable folks.

The entire world of mobile audio has changed dramatically over these past 4 years, and PRX along with it. We see huge growth and opportunity in our content and distribution services — including our Radiotopia podcast network and the booming SubAuto service that This American Life, The WFMT Radio Network, and others are joining — and have decided to focus our energies on this core identify of PRX. This doesn’t mean we will stop building apps, but we will select projects that directly align with our content and distribution strategy. We will also continue to consult to stations and producers seeking to build apps; we’ve earned a lot of insights across strategic, business, metrics, marketing and technical needs that we enjoy sharing with others.

Please drop us and jācapps a line with any questions or ideas.

Best,
Jake



jacapps logo

PRX_logo_final

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Paul Jacobs, jācapps, 248-353-9030

PRX and jācapps announce partnership on
mobile apps for public radio stations

PRX (the Public Radio Exchange) has selected mobile application provider jācapps as its recommended partner to develop mobile apps for public radio stations. PRX has developed apps for some of the country’s largest and most prestigious public radio stations and is now transitioning to focus its mobile strategy on original and custom apps linked to PRX’s core distribution service while recommending that its current clients shift to jācapps.

Jācapps will not only continue to provide the functionality, quality, and service that PRX has become known for, but will also offer additional optional features to take advantage of the expanding capabilities of the mobile platform to deliver interactive media experiences. Among these new features are capabilities for users to share audio, video and photos back to the station, as well as integration of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds.

Jācapps currently provides mobile applications for nearly 40 public radio stations nationwide, and those current and future station clients will benefit from a newsfeed feature created by PRX enabling the delivery of high quality news content.

“jācapps intends to use this partnership as a springboard to grow our presence in the public radio sphere,” said jācapps COO Bob Kernen, “We think this is an opportunity to bring new ideas and products to the many outstanding organizations and stations in public radio.”

“We’re impressed with jacapps’ platform and professionalism, and enthusiastically recommend that stations outsourcing native app development work with Bob and his team,” said Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX.

About PRX

PRX is an award-winning nonprofit public media company, harnessing innovative technology to bring significant stories to millions of people. PRX.org operates public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use, including This American Life, The Moth Radio Hour, Snap Judgment (with NPR), and 99% Invisible. PRX Remix is PRX’s 24/7 channel featuring the best independent radio stories and new voices. PRX is also a leading mobile app developer for public media, with apps such as the Public Radio Player, Radiolab, This American Life, KCRW Music Mine, and more.

About jācapps

With over 800 apps developed that have generated more than 21 million downloads, jācapps is a leading developer of mobile applications for businesses and organizations worldwide. Major brands include public radio’s “Car Talk,” Michigan Radio, WDET, WXPN, KUT, and numerous other public radio stations. Other clients include WGN Television and Radio, WEEI (Boston), Food Tripping, 100.3 The Sound (Los Angeles), WMMR (Philadelphia), and countless others.

jācapps is also the House Developer for The Ford Motor Company, working with mobile application developers to enable voice commands to enhance the in-car infotainment experience in vehicles equipped with the Ford AppLink operating system.

This American Life to Self-Distribute, Partner with PRX to Deliver Episodes


Ira visits the PRX office in 2010 (click to enlarge)

It’s an exciting day for public radio and independent distribution. This American Life will self-distribute starting July 1 and use PRX to deliver the show to stations.

This partnership will expand our relationship with This American Life; for several years we have handled iTunes distribution and developed mobile apps for iOS and Android in close collaboration with Ira Glass and his team.

PRX is constantly improving the ways we help producers — from the smallest to the biggest — take control of their own distribution for broadcast, web and now mobile. Since 2003, we have built up public radio’s largest story marketplace at PRX.org, helped develop new programs like The Moth Radio Hour, cast a wide net for new voices with the Public Radio Talent Quest, and introduced new distribution models like our podcast network Radiotopia.

We are grateful for the trust This American Life has in PRX, and blushing a bit from Ira’s generous quote in the press release (but not too much to repost it here):

“We’re excited and proud to be partners now with PRX,” said Glass. “They’ve been a huge innovative force in public radio, inventing technologies and projects to get people on the air who’d have a much harder time without them. They’re mission-driven, they’re super-capable and apparently they’re pretty good with computers.”

The over 500 stations carrying This American Life will get programs delivered weekly via PRX’s SubAuto (subscription automation) service, already in use by dozens of programs for The WFMT Radio Network, The Moth Radio Hour, and many others. PRX will also handle This American Life‘s carriage billing (stations do not need to be PRX members to subscribe to the show, please head to prx.org/thisamericanlife to get FAQ and how-tos, and contact us with any setup questions).

We are thrilled to be joining This American Life on this next leg of their journey. Stay tuned with us on Twitter for more updates.

Official press release is below.

________________________________________________________________________________________
PRESS RELEASE

This American Life Moves to Self-Distribute Program
Partners with PRX to Deliver Episodes to Public Radio Stations

May 28, 2014 – Chicago.

Starting July 1, 2014, Chicago Public Media and Ira Glass will start independently distributing the public radio show This American Life to over 500 public radio stations. Episodes will be delivered to radio stations by PRX, The Public Radio Exchange. Since 1997, the show has been distributed by Public Radio International.

“We’re excited and proud to be partners now with PRX,” said Glass. “They’ve been a huge innovative force in public radio, inventing technologies and projects to get people on the air who’d have a much harder time without them. They’re mission-driven, they’re super-capable and apparently they’re pretty good with computers.”

“We are huge fans of This American Life and are thrilled to support their move to self- distribution on our platform,” said Jake Shapiro, CEO of PRX. “We’ve had the privilege of working closely with Ira and team to develop This American Life’s successful mobile apps, and are honored to expand our partnership to the flagship broadcast.”

This American Life will take over other operations that were previously handled by PRI, including selling underwriting and marketing the show to stations. The marketing and station relations work will return to Marge Ostroushko, who did the job back before This American Life began distribution with PRI.

This American Life, produced by Chicago Public Media and hosted by Ira Glass, is heard weekly by 2.2 million people over the radio. Most weeks it’s also the number one podcast on iTunes, with over a million downloads per episode. It went on the air in 1995 and has won every major American award for broadcast and journalistic excellence.

PRX, first launched in 2003, is an independent nonprofit public media company, harnessing technology to bring compelling stories to millions of people. PRX.org operates public radio’s largest content marketplace, offering thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use, including The Moth Radio Hour. PRX features the best new stories on a 24/7 channel called PRX Remix, and recently launched the podcast network Radiotopia. PRX also develops apps for public media, including Public Radio Player, Radiolab, This American Life, and KCRW Music Mine. PRX is a recent recipient of both Peabody and Webby Awards, and received the 2008 MacArthur Foundation Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

contact: press@thislife.org

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Matter announces new class of startups

Matter-Three-Jump

Hello from sunny San Francisco! Today is the big day when we announce the new class of media startups joining Matter – the mission-driven accelerator that PRX helped found in partnership with Knight Foundation and KQED.

This is a great group of entrepreneurs and it will be exciting to see how they develop their ventures over the next 5 months of the accelerator program.

Here below is the official press release, and you can find out more at Matter.vc.

_____________________________________________________________________________

PRESS RELEASE

Matter Announces Third Class of Startups

San Francisco, Calif., May 15, 2014 —  Matter, the independent start-up accelerator focused on media, has announced the six startups selected to participate in its third class. Launched last year with foundational partners KQED, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and PRX, Matter provides intensive support to early stage media entrepreneurs through a 5-month program in San Francisco grounded in human-centered, prototype-driven design process.

Matter invests seed capital in ventures that have the potential to become meaningful media institutions of the future — creating a more informed, connected and empowered society.

The six startups selected for Matter Three are:

  • CratePlayer is a media curation platform for collecting and organizing audio and video content from multiple sources into simple, shareable, playable collections.
  • Known is an open publishing and collaboration platform that allows anyone to share their stories using many types of media.
  • LocalData is a cloud-based mapping platform that helps cities and communities make data-driven decisions by capturing and visualizing street-level information in real time.
  • Louder is a crowdfunded advertising platform that allows users to donate small amounts to amplify news and information that is important to them.
  • Musey connects fans with the online and offline spaces of artists and makers via mobile.
  • Stringr is a platform that helps media organizations request, find, license, and acquire multimedia content from freelancers and the crowd.

Each Matter Three team will receive a $50,000 investment and will work side-by-side in the Matter co-working space in San Francisco’s SoMa district. The ventures are diverse, but they all share Matter’s mission to “change media for good.”

“Matter is proving that there is a market for socially-driven startups and that technology can address and solve social issues,” said Alicia Rouault, founder and CEO of LocalData, which started in 2012 as a Code for America project with the city of Detroit.

Founder and CEO of Louder Colin Mutcher added: “The community and the spirit of Matter and that a public media institution like KQED is investing in it proves that there is strong alignment with our values as a company. Matter is the only accelerator that made sense for us.”

The five-month program will kick off on May 20 with an intensive boot camp, followed by a regular series of design reviews, mentoring sessions, and educational workshops. Mentors, speakers and participants in the process include some of the most influential minds working in technology and media today. The process will culminate in Demo Days in San Francisco and New York City for a select group of investors, media executives, mentors, and members of the Matter community.

“It’s amazing how many talented, scrappy, driven entrepreneurs are building ventures that have the potential to define the future landscape of media that matters,” said Corey Ford, managing partner of Matter. “These six teams inspire us and we are excited to invite them into our growing community.”

“Matter fuses public media values with the methods and mindsets of Silicon Valley,” said KQED President John Boland. “The KQED teams gain so much from interacting with each Matter class and we are thrilled to be a part of this process that seeks to create ventures that have a meaningful and positive impact on the media landscape.”

“Matter’s focus on driving media innovation by supporting stand-out startups and connecting them with the open market continues to gain momentum,” said Michael Maness, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism and media innovation. “We look forward to seeing what the new class brings and gaining insights into fresh technology and business models in media.”

Matter co-founder and CEO of PRX Jake Shapiro added, “We are seeing a surge of both startup and investor interest in media, and Matter is the place where it all comes together, driven by a shared mission to change media for good.”

For more information, photos and past coverage of Matter startups from the first two classes, please visit the Matter media center at http://matter.vc/press/.

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About Matter
Fusing public media values with Silicon Valley entrepreneurship, Matter is a start-up accelerator supporting media entrepreneurs building a more informed, connected, and empowered society. Backed by KQED, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and PRX, Matter invest in entrepreneurs who show high potential to create media ventures that make a meaningful, positive impact on society while pursuing a sustainable, scalable, profitable business model. For more information visit http://matter.vc/press/.

About PRX
PRX is an award-winning nonprofit public media company, harnessing innovative technology to bring significant stories to millions of people. PRX.org operates public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use, including The Moth Radio Hour, Snap Judgment (with NPR), and 99% Invisible. PRX Remix is PRX’s 24/7 channel featuring the best independent radio stories and new voices. PRX is also the leading mobile app developer for public media, with apps such as the Public Radio Player, Radiolab, This American Life, KCRW Music Mine, and more.

PRX was created through a collaboration of the Station Resource Group and Atlantic Public Media, and receives support from public radio stations and producers, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, and the Knight Foundation.

About KQED
KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. Home to the most listened-to public radio station in the nation, one of the highest rated public television services, and a leader in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration—exposing them to new people, places and ideas. www.kqed.org

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more information, please visit knightfoundation.org.

Kathleen Unwin Joins PRX as Station Relations Director

Today we are welcoming the newest PRXer, Station Relations Director Kathleen Unwin. She’ll be working from “PRX’s Midwest Bureau” — St. Louis. To start, she’ll handle marketing for The Moth Radio Hour and will work with stations to determine where the series fits best for their audiences.

We’ll have our traditional welcome post written by Kathleen very soon. In the meantime, check out the press release below for detail.


PRESS RELEASE

Contact John Barth, Managing Director
Telephone 973-219-6533
Email john@prx.org
Website www.prx.org

Unwin Joins PRX

Cambridge, Mass., May 13, 2014 — PRX is very pleased to welcome Kathleen Unwin to PRX in the new role of Station Relations Director.

Many public radio colleagues know Kathleen as the marketing and advertising manager of Current where she built a respected reputation for superb client service, deep knowledge of public broadcasting and a sophisticated sense of publishing in a changing media environment.

“Kathleen brings a publishing mindset and experience to PRX as we forge into expanded marketing activity for programs. Kathleen brings a wealth of experience in marketing and sponsorship sales with her,” said John Barth, Managing Director.

Kathleen started in her role May 1 and will handle marketing for The Moth Radio Hour, as well as other PRX services, programs, and strategic projects.

PRX oversaw the licensing of more than 20,000 programs to stations last year. It has helped build the success of signature programs like The Moth Radio Hour, Sound Opinions, 99% Invisible, and many others. In February it launched the Radiotopia podcast network, and has recent claims to both a Peabody and a Webby.

The WFMT Radio Network Moves Catalog to PRX

Today we are officially welcoming The WFMT Radio Network to PRX. The distributor and producer of dozens of series over hundreds of stations is now using PRX to distribute daily and weekly programs via our SubAuto system. Get all the detail in the press release below.


PRESS RELEASE
For information and interviews:
Patrick Kowalczyk, patrick@pkpr.com

WFMT Radio Network partners with PRX
in Comprehensive Distribution Agreement

Major independent producer and distributor of music and spoken word shifts entire
catalog to web-based broadcast distribution service

Chicago, Ill. (May 8, 2014). — The WFMT Radio Network announced today that it will begin delivering its entire catalog of programs through the Public Radio Exchange (PRX).

For over 40 years, The WFMT Radio Network in Chicago has been a major independent producer and distributor of classical, folk, jazz, and spoken word programming. The Network syndicates three daily programs, more than a dozen weekly series and several dozen specials each year aired by more than 300 stations (950 including translators and repeaters), reaching a cumulative 10-12 million listeners each week in the United States and 5-6 million listeners internationally.

PRX is public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of programs through a web-based platform that handles licensing, carriage billing, and metrics. PRX’s new subscription automation service (SubAuto) is already in use by hundreds of stations carrying The Moth Radio Hour, Sound Opinions, America’s Test Kitchen, American Routes, and other major programs. PRX has also expanded public media listening into new territories via its award-winning mobile apps and its PRX Remix stream.

“We are delighted to partner with PRX. Their innovative, user-friendly distribution tools will help us provide our U.S.-based affiliate stations with an even wider variety of programs in different formats, and to continue to expand our international production and distribution activities. The future has never looked brighter for us and we’re excited to be growing the Network in partnership with PRX,” said WFMT Radio Network Director of Syndication Tony Macaluso.

“The WFMT Radio Network is the source of an incredible catalog of arts and spoken word programming, and we are excited to join forces to extend its reach,” said PRX CEO Jake Shapiro. “PRX has built the bridge between broadcast and digital distribution, giving multi-faceted organizations such as The WFMT Radio Network opportunities to expand audience, impact, and revenue.”

The WFMT Radio Network will be moving off ContentDepot by July 1, 2014. PRX and The WFMT Radio Network are working with each station on the transition to the new service. Stations will not be charged any additional fees to access programs through PRX’s delivery system.

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About The WFMT Radio Network
The WFMT Radio Network currently syndicates three daily radio programs/networks (Exploring Music with Bill McGlaughlin, the Beethoven Network, and the Jazz Network), more than a dozen weekly series (including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Salzburg Festival, Relevant Tones, and Fiesta) and more than two dozen specials and short series each year. The WFMT Radio Network has also been pioneering online streaming of radio archives, including a site devoted to the popular daily program Exploring Music and the forthcoming Studs Terkel Radio Archive, which will feature more than 5,000+ interviews conducted by Terkel during his 40+ years at WFMT plus new work based on the archive.

These programs are used by more 300 primary stations (950+ including translators and repeaters) plus major national radio networks in more than 50 other countries. The Network is also an active member of the European Broadcasting Union (one of just five U.S. members). All told, WFMT Radio Network programs reach between 10 and 12 million listeners (Nielsen verified) per week in the United States plus another 5-6 million listeners per week internationally.

About PRX
PRX is an award-winning nonprofit public media company, harnessing innovative technology to bring significant stories to millions of people. PRX.org operates public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use, including The Moth Radio Hour, Snap Judgment (with NPR), and 99% Invisible. PRX Remix is PRX’s 24/7 channel featuring the best independent radio stories and new voices. PRX is also the leading mobile app developer for public media, with apps such as the Public Radio Player, Radiolab, This American Life, KCRW Music Mine, and more.

PRX was created through a collaboration of the Station Resource Group and Atlantic Public Media, and receives support from public radio stations and producers, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, and the Knight Foundation.

Reveal Wins Peabody Award

The lead investigative story first featured in the pilot program of Reveal, a joint production of The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX, has won a Peabody Award.

The story, reported by CIR’s Aaron Glantz, exposed opiate prescription abuse by the VA and the damage done to veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. CIR’s extensive use of the Freedom of Information Act put hard data to the human impact and made possible a story for public radio, online and television.

More than 150 stations have aired the Reveal pilot. The second pilot has been airing on public radio since March.

“PRX is deeply honored to be part of this award with the talented journalists at CIR,” said PRX Managing Director John Barth. “We have listened carefully to stations and listeners and this Peabody is an affirmation that strong, investigative journalism will be at the core of Reveal.”

PRX and CIR are proud to be in the company of other award-winners announced today: This American Life, NPR, PBS and many others.

Full list of winners.

About Reveal
Reveal is an investigative public radio program for the 21st century, accompanied by web, mobile and social platforms that create a powerful level of content and audience engagement. Reveal will leverage the social web beyond promotional sharing to reach new audiences off the public radio grid and pro-actively engage them in the search for common cause and solution to the myriad problems identified and addressed through Reveal‘s reporting. Reveal intends to become a weekly program and is now in the piloting phase with stations and collaboration partners.

Reveal is a joint production of The Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX. PRX is the exclusive distributor of Reveal.

About PRX
PRX is an award-winning nonprofit public media company, harnessing innovative technology to bring compelling stories to millions of people. PRX.org operates public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use, including The Moth Radio Hour, Sound Opinions, State of the Re:Union, Snap Judgment, and WTF with Marc Maron. PRX Remix is PRX’s 24/7 channel featuring the best independent radio stories and new voices. PRX is also the leading mobile app developer for public media, with apps such as Public Radio Player, Radiolab, This American Life, WBUR, KCRW Music Mine, and more.

PRX was created through a collaboration of the Station Resource Group and Atlantic Public Media and receives support from public radio stations and producers, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Knight Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Sloan Foundation.

About the Center for Investigative Reporting
Investigative reporting is an essential pillar of a democratic society. For more than three decades, The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) has relentlessly pursued and revealed injustices that otherwise would remain hidden from the public. Today, we’re upholding this legacy and looking forward, working at the forefront of journalistic innovation to tell the stories that make a difference and reach diverse audiences of all ages, across the aisle and worldwide.

CIR stories appear in hundreds of news outlets, including NPR News, PBS FRONTLINE, PBS NewsHour, CNN, the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Sacramento Bee, The Daily Beast and American Public Media’s Marketplace. CIR stories have received numerous journalism awards, including the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Silver Baton, George Polk Award, Emmy Award, Investigative Reporters and Editors Award, and the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Its reports have sparked state and federal hearings and legislation, public-interest lawsuits and changes in corporate policies. For more information, visit cironline.org.

Reveal Credits

Host: Al Letson

Executive Producers: Ben Adair, Susanne Reber

Editors: Amy Pyle, Mia Zuckerkandel

Producers: Michael Montgomery (KQED), Michael Schiller,

Reporters: Aaron Glantz, Kendall Taggart, Ryan Gabrielson, Amanda Aronczyk

Data team: Agustin Armendariz, Aaron Williams, Michael Corey

Production assistance: Allegra Bandy, Stan Alcorn, Bianca Bruno, Julia Chan, Sharon Pieczenik, Ben Rosenthal

Mix engineer: Jim Briggs

RevealRadio.org: Mia Zuckerkandel, Sam Ward, Jaena Rae Cabrera, Christine Lee, Nikki Frick

Video producers: Michael Schiller, Adi Sambamurthy

Reveal is a co production of The Center for Investigative Reporting and the Public Radio Exchange PRX

Senior Management for PRX: Jake Shapiro, John Barth, Kerri Hoffman

Senior Management for CIR: Robert J. Rosenthal, Mark Katches, Joaquin Alvarado, Susanne Reber

Reveal was co created by: Ben Adair, Susanne Reber, Joaquin Alvarado, John Barth and Kerri Hoffman

Welcoming Janet Balis to the PRX Board of Directors

janetbalis_1349233430_84

Please join me in welcoming Janet Balis as our newest member of the PRX board of directors!

Janet is an accomplished digital media executive who has just started a new position as Chief Revenue Officer at Betaworks in New York City.  Prior to Betaworks Janet most recently served as Publisher of the Huffington Post and held senior roles at Martha Stewart Omnimedia, Time, Inc. and Aol.

Janet is on the board of Advertising Women of New York (AWNY), a founding member of Women in Media Mentoring Initiative (WIMMI) and a board member at the International Academy of Arts and Sciences.

“I’ve been an avid public radio listener my whole life,” says Janet. “I’m excited to join PRX as an innovative organization defining new models for public media content, distribution and engagement.”

Janet joins PRX board members Henry Becton, Torey Malatia, Susan McKeever, Ashton Peery, Jake Shapiro, and Bruce Warren.

Welcoming Matter Two




We are excited to announce Matter Two!

This was an extraordinarily competitive and rigorous selection process. Hundreds of startups applied from across the U.S. and from around the world. It’s clear that word of Matter has spread, and our focus on mission, our design thinking and entrepreneurship program, and our growing community of mentors and partners is a beacon for many remarkable entrepreneurs.

We conducted in-person interviews with the top 48 semi-finalists and then selected 20 finalists to complete an 8-hour design thinking assignment that tested key assumptions about the desirability, feasibility, and viability of their ventures.

And then we jumped into a round of intensive follow-up conversations, product demos, code reviews, reference checks, due diligence, and many, many, internal discussions about our choice.

We are so proud of the result – Matter is investing in 7 media startups that will change media for good:



Connu helps emerging writers find, connect with, and monetize audiences through publishing the best new short stories.
Contextly enables publications of all sizes to be both informative and viable in the age of drive-by readers by marrying editorial wisdom to the power of algorithms.
Creative Action Network is a marketplace for artists, causes and supporters to harness their talents for good by creating, buying and sharing original, crowdsourced creative content and merchandise.
Formidable Corp. bursts the filter bubble to help connect you to people outside of your social circle.
GetCast empowers creative professionals to take control of their careers by connecting them through a platform that helps them showcase their work, hone their craft, and collaborate on a global scale.
Hacklog empowers individual journalists to be more relevant to their audiences, impactful with their stories, and in charge of their careers by providing honest analytics.
Woopie (Write Only Once, Publish It Everywhere) empowers writers and publishers to easily reach their audiences on all devices and platforms through a digital content publishing tool focused on responsive design.



Last week, these 15 mission-driven entrepreneurs packed up their lives and converged on their new home in San Francisco. They traveled from as far as Finland, Argentina, and Ireland and from as close as SOMA and the Mission. Matter has officially gone international.


Their journey kicked off with an intense, week-long bootcamp focused on building scalable media ventures using a human-centered and prototype-driven process.


The experience not only gave our entrepreneurs the tools and mindsets they’ll need to navigate the “drunken walk of the entrepreneur,” but also established the culture and community that will provide the true acceleration of the Matter experience.


Now, we drive to Demo Day. Each team with unveil their products on Feb. 20 in San Francisco and on Feb. 25 in New York City.


Where you see the teams now is just a snapshot in time. Each team will constantly iterate on its product, its distribution strategy, and its business model by getting out into the world, testing its assumptions, and gaining traction with their customers. The application process was all about testing to see if they could do that.


Each day they will be a step closer to hitting the sweet spot of feasibility, viability, and desirability. We are excited to see where they end up.


The adventure has just begun.

Matter One Demo Day

Today is Matter Demo Day!  See below for the official press release.

[UPDATE: here is some press coverage of demo day, including “Public Media Collides with Silicon Valley at Matter Accelerator; Six Startups Emerge“]

[UPDATE: watch a short “Meet Matter” video overview]

[UPDATE: applications for Matter’s next round are now open, and info sessions posted in San Francisco, New York, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago].

The first class of 6 startups is graduating from our four-month accelerator program in San Francisco. This is a major milestone for Matter, and for each of the teams it is an important ritual of startup life – pitching in front of a room full of investors and media.

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PRX is a founding partner of Matter, with Knight Foundation and KQED as the cornerstone investors in our first fund.

Since we launched Matter last December I’ve been bouncing between Cambridge and San Francisco to work with managing partner Corey Ford and director of operations Jigar Mehta to help guide this remarkable class of entrepreneurs to this moment.

It’s an outstanding group of people, all passionate about their products, their teams, and the shared mission to change media for good.

Today we are also opening the applications for Matter Two – our next accelerator class starting in October.  Please help us spread the word to find extraordinary mission-driven entrepreneurs with a vision for a more informed, connected, and empowered society. We’ll be hosting info sessions over the next several weeks in Boston, New York, Washington DC and Chicago.

Matter is a community and we are always expanding our network of mentors, advisors, partners and sponsors. Join us!

Jake Shapiro

CEO, PRX Inc.
Partner, Matter.

 

For information, interviews, photos contact:
Patrick Kowalczyk, patrick@pkpr.com
Jason Gordon, jason@pkpr.com
PKPR, 212.627.8098 (o), 917.699.6260 (m)

Download photos here: http://imgur.com/a/lVEZs#1 

MATTER, NEW STARTUP ACCELERATOR FOR MEDIA VENTURES,

SHOWCASES INAUGURAL CLASS AT FIRST-EVER DEMO DAY

Matter kicks off call for applications for its second class; deadline is July 28th

San Francisco, CA (June 13, 2013) – At the first demo day hosted by Matter, the media startup accelerator backed by KQED, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and PRX, six media startups today made their case for capital and highlighted how their ventures can help build a more informed, connected, and empowered society.

Fusing public media values with the methods and mindsets of Silicon Valley entrepreneurship, Matter invests in entrepreneurs who show high potential to create media ventures that have a meaningful, positive impact on society while pursuing a sustainable, scalable, profitable business model.

For the six teams that comprise Matter’s first class, today’s presentation to a select group of investors, media executives, and mentors marked the culmination of an intense four-month program. Participants were provided with a $50,000 investment and working space in Matter’s co-working facility in San Francisco’s tech-friendly SoMa neighborhood. Each team participated in a bootcamp focused on building scalable media ventures with a human-centered, prototype-driven design process, as well as a regular series of design reviews, speaker sessions, and mentoring meetings with entrepreneurs, investors, and media executives.

The six startups that presented at Matter’s first demo day address the many ways audiences consume media (reading, listening, watching, interacting) while also empowering audiences to participate and create media in their own ways. The ventures, which include participatory platforms, mobile applications, B2B media services, and content production engines, are:

  • ChannelMeter is a professional grade analytics platform for publishers and brands focused on maximizing and engaging audiences in online video.
  • InkFold is a reading list compiled automatically from your gmail that turns your friends into a reading club.
  • Mixation is a network of online TV stations that anyone can create.
  • OpenWatch is an investigative network for creating a just society through radical transparency.
  • SpokenLayer SpokenLayer unmutes the written web. We partner with publishers to turn articles into audio read by real people..
  • Zeega is revolutionizing interactive storytelling for a future beyond blogs, enabling anyone to express themselves by easily combining media from the cloud.

“I couldn’t be more proud of what these six ventures have accomplished in the last four months,” said Matter Managing Partner Corey Ford. “The goal was to have them continuously test and iterate on their venture to make it more and more relevant to their audiences and more and more viable for investors while maintaining their focus on building a more informed, connected, and empowered society. They’ve done just that.”

“Matter itself is a start-up, and today marks a major milestone in our mission to change media for good,” said Jake Shapiro, Matter Partner and CEO of PRX. “This remarkable group of entrepreneurs now forms the nucleus of Matter’s expanding community of mentors, partners, and investors.”

“KQED invested in Matter to connect public media to the Silicon Valley innovation ecosystem and attract new ideas, technologies, and creative entrepreneurs with ventures that intersect with our mission of media for the public good,” said KQED President John Boland. “All six of the start-ups participating in this first Matter demo day fit that description, and their interactions with KQED staff have been mutually beneficial. Matter is off to a great start.”

“Matter is using entrepreneurial approaches to drive innovation in public media,” said Michael Maness, Knight Foundation Vice President of Journalism and Media Innovation. “By supporting the first-ever Matter demo day, we are providing start-ups with the opportunities they need to build their ideas and contribute to a more informed society.”

Applications for Matter’s second class, which will begin in October 2013, are being accepted today through July 28, 2013.

Any media startups with multi-disciplinary teams who have early-stage prototypes,an apply.  Information sessions for potential applicants will be held in five cities over the next month: San Francisco (June 19, July 9), Boston (June 25), New York City (June 26), Washington, D.C. (June 27), and Los Angeles (July 10). For the first time, Matter will be accepting applications using AngelList. For information, application guidelines, and the schedule for Matter information sessions, go to www.matter.vc.

About Matter

Fusing public media values with Silicon Valley entrepreneurship, Matter is a start-up accelerator supporting media entrepreneurs building a more informed, connected, and empowered society. Backed by KQED, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and PRX, .  Matter invest in entrepreneurs who show high potential to create media ventures that make a meaningful, positive impact on society while pursuing a sustainable, scalable, profitable business model. For more information visit http://matter.vc/press/.

About KQED

KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. Home to the most listened-to public radio station in the nation, one of the highest rated public television services, and a leader in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration—exposing them to new people, places and ideas. www.kqed.org

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more information, please visit knightfoundation.org.

About PRX
PRX is an award-winning public media company, harnessing innovative technology to bring significant stories to millions of people. PRX operates public radio’s largest distribution marketplace, offering thousands of audio stories for broadcast and digital use, including signature PRX programs like The Moth Radio Hour. PRX mobile apps for public media include This American Life, KCRW Music Mine and Public Radio Player. For more information, please visit www.prx.org/about-us/press.