American Public Media to Assume Production and Distribution of Performance Today and Symphonycast
American Public Media to Contribute Wide Range of Music Content to New NPR Digital Music Service, Tentatively Launching in First Half of 2007
September 6, 2006; Washington, D.C. and St. Paul, MN — American Public Media™ will assume production and distribution of Performance Today and SymphonyCast from NPR, it was announced today by both companies. Additionally, there is an agreement in principle for American Public Media to actively participate in the recently-announced NPR digital music service, tentatively set to launch in the first half of 2007 and designed as an online destination for music programming in all genres produced by public radio. The wide range of content will include Performance Today and SymphonyCast.
"American Public Media couldn’t be more pleased to begin producing the renowned Performance Today and SymphonyCast," said Sarah Lutman, Senior Vice President of Content and Media, American Public Media. "Classical music is one of our strengths and producing and distributing these two programs further reflects our deep commitment to expanding the nationís classical music audience. We look forward to building on the past success of Performance Today and SymphonyCast and to bringing fresh, new energy to these programs that will help them reach listeners around the United States and around the world."
"This partnership ensures the continued broadcast presence of two important, respected programs devoted to classical music by American Public Media while NPR focuses its efforts on establishing a significant presence for classical music, and all music genres, in the digital media environment," said Ken Stern, Executive Vice President, NPR. "There is a remarkable shift underway in how the public is finding and using music through online and on-demand resources, and NPR is committed to building on our longstanding role as distributor, partner, curator, aggregator and convener of public radio music assets in those vital new platforms."
This new alliance addresses the public radio system’s longstanding interest in having producers, distributors and stations work collectively and collaboratively to expand opportunities for audiences with all genres of music, reduce duplication of service and create stronger programming.
The agreement begins in first quarter of 2007, with broadcast production of the programs moving from NPR headquarters in Washington to American Public Media’s in St. Paul. The digital music service will be based at NPR. NPR and American Public Media will work together in a number of ways to increase the value of classical music; among those efforts, NPR will provide American Public Media with access to concerts, independent productions, Performance Today and SymphonyCast archives and contacts with arts organizations and festivals.
About Performance Today and SymphonyCast
Performance Today is America’s most listened-to classical music program, reaching more than 1 million listeners on 230 public radio stations around the country each week. The two-hour weekday program features classical music in concert from studios, festivals and concert halls across the nation and around the world, as well as classical music news, interviews and features. SymphonyCast is a two-hour weekly radio program featuring a full-length concert by a major symphony orchestra. Concerts are drawn from Europe’s leading ensembles, along with U.S. orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, The Philadelphia Orchestra and The Cleveland Orchestra.
About NPR Music
The centerpiece of NPR’s upcoming digital music discovery project will be an online destination pooling the public radio system’s collective resources and creating communities for fans and artists. It will encompass all music forms — including classical, jazz, folk, opera, AAA, electronica, world and alternative — reflecting the breadth of genres and tastes already offered to users of NPR and NPR.org, the 815 NPR Member stations around the country and their partner Web sites.
NPR’s music activities span every genre and media platform. It offers more than 1000 hours of broadcast music programs annually including From The Top, World of Opera, World Café and Sacred Classics. It also provides more than 1400 hours of acquired performance audio segments for broadcast and online distribution; more than 600 music features on its news magazines, and regular live performances — from Bonnie Raitt to Josh Groban — on the daily Talk of the Nation. NPR produces more than 200 hours of music content for NPR.org, including live concerts and the hit program All Songs Considered, also one of the world’s most-downloaded podcasts. NPR currently features 10 music-themed podcasts. In Fall 2005, NPR expanded its digital media activities and led the HD Radio content industry with the launch of five 24/7 music multicast channels, which are already airing on an experimental basis on stations across the country; their formats are classical (CPRN, Classical Public Radio Network), folk, jazz, electronica and AAA. More information is available at www.NPR.org
About American Public Media
Through partnerships with orchestras, vocal ensembles and others, American Public Media’s classical music service delivers performances from around the world to its listeners. These new programs will join American Public Media’s growing portfolio, giving it the largest broadcast audience reach of any classical music radio producer in the United States. American Public Media’s national classical music programs include conversation and performance in Saint Paul Sunday;® Pipedreams,® the only nationally distributed radio program that explores the full range of the pipe organ’s art and potential; and Composers Datebook,® a daily two-minute program designed to inform, engage, and entertain listeners with timely information about composers of the past and present.
American Public Media, a leader in arts and cultural programming, also produces and distributes national broadcast performances of the Minnesota Orchestra and The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra as well as specials such as BBC Proms, World Choral Spectacular and Music@Menlo. In partnership with Public Radio International, American Public Media produces the nation’s most listened-to 24/7 stream of live-hosted classical radio, Classical 24. Classical 24 is heard by nearly 2 million listeners each week on hundreds of public radio stations. American Public Media also owns and operates The Current,™ an alternative music radio station based at Minnesota Public Radio and streaming online at www.thecurrent.org. More information is available at www.americanpublicmedia.org.