99% Invisible, Inc is sold to SiriusXM

Ten years ago, PRX hired Roman Mars to help us curate a new channel, called PRX Remix, on the then newly formed SiriusXM. PRX Remix was an experiment; a showcase of audio gems surfaced through choice and technology. Roman instantly understood what we were trying to do and brought the special sauce that made it work — he acted more like a DJ than a programmer.

Radiotopia Executive Producer Julie Shapiro, 99% Invisible Host and Creator Roman Mars, PRX CEO Kerri Hoffman

A few years later, we put our heads together to solve another problem, this time in podcasting. At the time, his podcast, “99% Invisible,” was gaining success as a one-person production, but there were…

When we don’t learn from failure, we continue to fail.

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What seemed to work before, our structures and norms, aren’t working anymore, and it’s clear that for many, they never worked. For the past two weeks, I have been deeply thinking about Palace Shaw’s resignation letter and the issues raised in the email circulated by her colleagues. They’re right to be disappointed. I didn’t speak directly to their pain or Palace’s. I sincerely apologize to Palace, our staff, our partners, and the wider community.

It’s past time; we have to change. Our work culture, led by me, a white woman, is white-dominant, and this has stifled BIPOC employees’ call for…

The following message was shared with all PRX staff via email this morning. We are posting it here as well for transparency.

Dear all,

I hear you. I apologize and take full responsibility. I am sorry my leadership has not matched your expectations of me. I pledge to do better.

I have spent many days reflecting deeply on everything that happened last week, the moment we are now in, and how we move forward. I take very seriously the criticisms and accusations of racism and inequity laid out in a former employee’s letter. …

Corporate and nonprofit mergers alike must provide mutually beneficial solutions to a range of problems, albeit in different ways.

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Nonprofit mergers are complex unions. They aren’t exactly consolidations or even partnerships — they are opportunities for problem-solving. Charities in the arts, local media, youth, and family services contribute significantly to our economy. They also operate on thin margins. Surviving an economic downturn has everyone looking for a lifeline, and for some, a merger might offer a way both through a recession and into a more opportune future.

While many nonprofit executives know how to build and manage boards to foster internal culture and identify and pursue strategic opportunities, most of us have little experience with mergers. What we know…

Sometimes change is something we carefully plan for and implement, and other times change is thrust upon us.

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A few years ago, the award-winning producer Jay Allison wrote a provocation referring to public media as “a precious local and national system, founded on a beautiful idea, and we should protect it… If it fails, it will never be built again.” That has stuck in my mind ever since, and come back with a haunted urgency over the past several weeks.

As COVID-19 has swept across America and around the world, the response from the public media system has been nothing short of heroic. In a recent email, Pat Harrison, President and CEO of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting…

It’s estimated that roughly 70% of all corporate mergers fail, according to Harvard Business Review. Non-profit mergers are harder to evaluate because they don’t happen as often, but one thing’s for sure in either case — they are a bit chaotic and high voltage. Yet, when strong leaders come together with a collaborative mindset and are inspired to reach a common goal, the result is a vessel for fresh perspectives and true innovation.

PRI and PRX merged to create a new, scaled, open, and connected public media designed for the next generation of engaged listeners. Our priority in year one…

Photo from Department of Parks Canada.

Mergers are complex transactions. They shift and re-align perceptions. They require planned flexibility as well as choreographed precision, and the full support of many people.

We recently passed the 100-day mark of the merger of PRI and PRX. We are coming out of this initial phase with a reorganized team, an extraordinary content portfolio and an emerging suite of services. Over the last few months, we’ve talked to dozens of independent producers, station leaders, funders and other stakeholders.

Change is on everyone’s mind.

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence — it is to act with…

The media industry had an extraordinary year — publishers continued to experiment on new platforms, podcasting matured as a business, news outlets adapted to covering a new president and administration, and many began grappling with internal personnel issues of harassment. In 2017, our industry was presented with new challenges, but also opportunities to applaud journalism, storytelling and innovation.

We have been inspired by our peers, who persisted in the push for truth and broke new ground in storytelling and reporting. We celebrate Matter Ventures in redefining how media can and does matter in a rapidly changing environment.

We’re humbled and…

Naming things is hard. Back in 2011, PRX, the award winning distributor of radio shows and podcasts, co-launched the Public Media Accelerator — descriptive, yet boring. Fortunately, the name and the idea took a pivot. Matter Ventures, led by Corey Ford, rightly evolved our central hypothesis of fixing parts of public media into the more the meaningful question — how do we build the future of all media that matters?

Today, the Matter curriculum has been applied to over 49 media companies. The community has grown to over 150 mentors and nearly a dozen partners. After years of watching from…

Dovetail is our audio publishing system built from the ground up to serve leading podcasts. PRX, an award-winning pioneer of new talent and technologies for the podcast industry, built Dovetail for producers to increase revenue and options for podcast sponsorship. Originally created for the Radiotopia network and PRX shows, such as The Moth and Reveal, Dovetail was successfully used to serve ads in the second season of Serial, the fastest growing podcast of all time.

With Dovetail, previously static ads can be scheduled and prioritized, capped and balanced, paired or separated. The rules consider a listener’s location, time, and device…

Kerri Hoffman

CEO PRX, board member Greater Public, The Podcast Academy, Peabody Awards, Executive Board Fast Company @prx, @themoth, @radiotopia @traxnetwork

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