CPB Media Room

CPB To Launch Public Radio "Talent Quest" Initiative

  • For Immediate Release on February 21, 2007

On February 28, at the Austin City Limits Soundstage on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) will launch the Public Radio Talent Quest to identify a new generation of public radio 'on-air' talent.

At the heart of Talent Quest is a competition between two "teams" - Public Radio Exchange (PRX) and Launch - who will recruit three original and compelling voices ("anchors") apiece and then work with them to develop pilot programs for presentation to CPB. CPB, in turn, will review the programs and decide which one will be awarded with development funding.

Public Radio Exchange (PRX) is a nonprofit corporation based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A collaboration of the Station Resource Group of Takoma Park, Maryland and Atlantic Public Media of Woods Hole, Massachusetts, PRX serves as an online marketplace for distribution, review, and licensing of public radio programming. PRX will conduct its search as a multi-stage web-based contest. The PRX team plans an open competition with four rounds of production challenges and elimination. Public radio professionals as well as the listening public will be invited to rate and review the contestants and their submissions. Three finalists will be paired with producer mentors and will receive a cash prize to produce short pilot programs for broadcast.

Launch is a first-time collaboration between three veteran producers - Mary Beth Kirchner, Julie Burstein, Marge Ostroushko - with more than 75 years collective experience cultivating on-air talent and creating new public radio programming. To find the new talent, Launch is planning to tap into its extensive network of contacts in the entertainment, business, academic, science, and media worlds.

PRX and Launch were selected by CPB through a Request for Proposal process.

The six Talent Quest finalists (three from each team) will be announced at the Public Radio Program Directors conference in Minneapolis in September. CPB will announce the winner of the Talent quest competition in early 2008.

WHAT: National Launch of Public Radio Talent Quest

WHEN: February 28, 2007 at 6:45 pm (the event will run from 6:00 to 8:00 pm).

WHERE: Austin City Limits Soundstage Jesse H. Jones Communications Center University of Texas 2504-B Whitis Avenue Austin, Texas

WHO: CPB President and CEO Patricia Harrison (speaking) Patricia Wente, President, Public Radio in Mid America (Prima) Stewart Vanderwilt, Director and General Manager KUT/Austin

About CPB

CPB is a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967 and is steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of nearly 1,300 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

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