Rhode Island PBS, Public’s Radio to merge

The boards of Rhode Island PBS and The Public’s Radio in Providence, R.I., have agreed to merge the two organizations.

The organizations had previously considered a merger but got more serious after a discussion between board chairs more than a year ago, said Elizabeth Delude-Dix, board chair of The Public’s Radio.

“This is really the opportune moment to bring these two legacy media organizations together,” Delude-Dix said. “… There’s this strong feeling that we would be stronger together, that together we could create programming and be more relevant, more trusted, more dynamic and more responsive to the community that we seek to serve.”

Announced Thursday, the deal is pending FCC and state approval, which aren’t expected until next year. In the interim, the organizations will operate “pretty much business as usual,” Delude-Dix said, and audiences will not notice changes in the near term. The organizations will be able to collaborate as the regulatory process plays out, she said.

When the deal is finalized, the boards will merge and conduct a nationwide search for a CEO to lead the new organization.

Once that CEO is in place, the new organization will embark on a strategic planning process to guide its direction. David Piccerelli, CEO of RIPBS, and Torey Malatia, CEO of The Public’s Radio, would need to apply if they want to be considered for the job.

“There’s no question that as media organizations, we are much stronger together than we are individually,” Piccerelli said.

“By joining our collective resources, it just allows us to better serve Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts,” he said. Piccerelli said he also sees the benefit of creating a larger member database through a merger.

The boards hired a professional facilitator, MJ Kaplan, to help guide the discussion and advance the process, Delude-Dix said.

Related Posts