MURRAY, Ky. — WKMS Station Manager Chad Lampe is among three public radio station representatives from across the country selected for a 16-week National Public Radio (NPR) project to develop ideas to advance actionable, real-world solutions to benefit the entire digital network of public radio. Located on the main campus of Murray State University, WKMS provides local and national news, music programming and more to counties in Kentucky, Illinois and Tennessee.
The Public Radio Incubation Lab’s mission is to develop ideas that enable NPR and member stations to reach and engage new audiences, create new audience experiences and support public radio’s long-term financial sustainability.
The Lab offers member station colleagues an opportunity to participate in a four-month rotation, where team members will generate ideas and test prototypes and, based on their findings, propose possible solutions. Lampe will participate in an immersive design thinking process in-person at NPR’s Washington D.C. headquarters for at least four weeks of the 16-week rotation, while contributing remotely for the remainder.
“Public radio’s future depends on its ability to adapt,” said NPR Chief Digital Officer Thomas Hjelm. “Facing an increasingly dynamic and crowded media landscape, rapid changes in the needs and behaviors of audiences and the need to find new ways to fortify the revenue models of public radio, NPR and member stations face complex challenges and, too often, limited resources and short-term deadlines. The Public Radio Incubation Lab will develop ideas that enable NPR and member stations to reach and engage new audiences, create new audience experiences and support public radio’s long-term financial sustainability.”
Lampe will join member station colleagues from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Seattle, Washington, and NPR staff to explore ways to deepen collaboration between NPR and member stations by prototyping tools and practices that allow station staff to work better together to grow membership.
“This project aligns with the station’s collaborative spirit,” Lampe said. “WKMS is highly leveraged and has extensive experience in multiple collaborative projects inside and outside public media. These projects consistently advance our mission at scale with shared costs and shared responsibilities.”
The team will work under the direction of NPR’s Vice President of Design Liz Danzico. NPR Foundation Trustee Emeritus Bill Poorvu is the lead donor for the project.
About WKMS: WKMS is licensed to Murray State University. The station’s broadcast offerings are available to more than 400,000 people in Western Kentucky, Southern Illinois and Northwest Tennessee with stations including 91.3 WKMS, Murray, KY, 90.9 WKMD, Madisonville, KY and 89.5 WKMT, Fulton, KY. Additionally offerings include WKMS Classical at 91.3-2 and at 92.5 Paducah, 88.9 Murray, 105.1 Madisonville and WKMS Music on 91.3-3 and at 102.9 in Madisonville. WKMS also provides a comprehensive news service at wkms.org, along with online streams of all stations.