Corporation for Public Broadcasting to Fund More Urban Alternative Stations

September 1, 2022 by Dan McCue
Corporation for Public Broadcasting to Fund More Urban Alternative Stations
(Corporation of Public Broadcasting photo)

WASHINGTON — In its ongoing bid to attract a younger, more diverse audience to public radio the Corporation for Public Broadcasting announced this week it is seeking proposals to expand the Urban Alternative music format to three additional public radio stations.

The three stations selected will receive grants of up to $500,000 along with 30 months of consulting services to research and develop the operations.

The request for proposals is available at cpb.org and submissions are due by 5 p.m. Eastern time on Oct. 28.

The CPB began funding the expansion of the format in 2015, and has already helped 10 stations across the country make the switch, including Rocky Mountain Public Media’s KUVO in Denver, Colorado; Texas Southern University’s KTSU; WYMS in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Minnesota’s KCMP.

The urban alternative format is similar to what is now called album adult alternative, the longstanding commercial rock format that used to fly under the banner of “Classic Rock” and mainly focused on White rock artists for now mostly middle-aged White rock fans.

Urban Alternative provides the same kind of mix of old and new, only focusing on hip-hop, R&B and dance music.

Speaking at the Public Radio Content Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, this week, CPB President and CEO Pat Harrison told attendees that so far, the experiment appears to be working.

“CPB is now pleased to support the expansion of this format, in which the stations will be trusted partners with these audiences, guided by their music and information needs and through engagement and events,” Harrison said.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and @DanMcCue

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