WBUR, one of Boston’s two NPR stations, airs more than 25 hours of locally-produced programs and reaches approximately 500,000 listeners each week — in addition to running a significant digital operation. We were thrilled to send a team from Digital Services to visit their offices and see what they do.
In mid-February, Jackie McBride, Jenny Golden, Molly Holder, Robin Garner, and Simon Xia from Digital Services went to WBUR, where we met with people involved in content creation, software development, membership, and underwriting.
In the process of creating and rolling out our responsive theme for Core Publisher, we did a lot of research to help us make an outstanding product. However, now that more than five million end-users visit Core Publisher sites every month, we wanted to investigate how it performs — usability-wise — in the real world.
Robin Hood Radio, which proudly calls itself "The Smallest NPR Station in the Nation," is based in Sharon, Connecticut, a rural community of about 3,000 people in the northwest part of the state. On January 25, Adam Kiryk, Andric LibreSinn, and Benjamin Wilson from Digital Services drove to their office — a converted residence on Main Street — to learn how they run the station.
On January 21, a Justin Brown, Bina Zafar, and Adam Kiryk from NPRDS traveled to Maine to visit the Lewiston offices of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, a joint-licensee that produces for both radio and television — and the web. We learned a lot, met a bunch of talented people, and returned feeling very happy about the whole experience. And not just because we’d been given nice new MPBN mugs!
Last November, we promised to release a new set of features for creating, listing, and promoting community events within Core Publisher starting this winter. Our team has been working hard, and we’re pleased to announce that the beta version is now live.
At Digital Services, we know a lot about radio — hey, even though we’re digital, we’re still National Public Radio — but we don’t know as much as we’d like about day-to-day operations inside the offices of NPR Member stations. We partner with stations on goals. We train stations how to use our products. We talk with stations about challenges. But not many of us have a deep understanding of what it’s like for the people who work at a station and use our products.