When the Board of Northeast Indiana Public Radio (NIPR) in Ft. Wayne hired Peter Dominowski to be their new President/GM in 2013, they expected good things to happen. As time has gone by, Dominowski continues to surpass expectations. The latest chapter is the announcement on Tuesday (4/11) of a $4.5 million campaign to build and equip the new headquarters of NIPR.
The new site will house NIPR’s two programming services: NPR News 89.1 WBOI and Classical 94.1 WBNI.
|210 East Jefferson Boulevard|
NIPR bought a legendary Ft. Wayne building in 2016 for a “fire sale” price, $145,000. It is definitely a “fixer upper.” The building has 14,000-square-feet, three-levels was designed by famed Fort Wayne architect A.M. Strauss almost 100 years ago. Located at 210 East Jefferson Boulevard, the new NIPR HQ is seen as an important part of the renewal of downtown Fort Wayne.
Mayor Tom Henry told the crowd at the announcement event that the new building positions NIPR to be a cultural hub that will add downtown vitality. The new HQ is about twice the size of NIPR’s current home.
WELCOME TO THE “PODCAST CAFÉ”
|Peter Dominowski announces campaign|
New studios for WBOI and WBNI will be located on the first floor along with a digital news center and the Podcast Café where folks can produce their own podcasts. On the lower level NIPR will have an auditorium-like multipurpose room that will seat around 120 folks for cultural and community events. The second level will have administrative offices and meeting rooms.
NIPR also plans to take advantage of the high-traffic, downtown location by installing a large digital sign with news and information on the front of the building. The renovation will preserve many of the building's historic features, including pink marble facing on the front.
The fundraising effort is called the Sound Future campaign. NIPR hopes to be in their new home in 2019.
|Peter Dominowski Wins Otto Award|
I’ve worked with Peter Dominowski ever since I began working in public radio in the 1980s. Dominowski was an early champion of Classical Countdown, the countdown show I produced in LA. We worked together on research and planning for the program that became The World at Public Radio International (PRI). Our work continued on many projects after I started my own consultancy in 1997.
Dominowski has always been about "Improving the listening experience for millions of audience members."
That quote comes from the 2012 PRPD conference when he received the Don Otto Award for excellence in public radio programming. That is what Dominowski is doing in Fort Wayne. He is taking what he learned over years while working with the best and brightest in public media and giving it to the people of Fort Wayne. Way to go, dude.
IN SANTA CRUZ WHAT IS NEW COULD BE OLD AGAIN
In January of 2017 we reported [link] on efforts by former employees of the late-KUSP in Santa Cruz, to buy another station. The group organizing the effort is Central Coast Community Radio (CCCR), led by author and activist Rachel Goodman.
In January CCCR announced it had signed a conditional agreement to purchase KSRI (90.7 FM) for $265,000. KSRI’s current owner is the Educational Media Foundation (EMF), the same organization that bought bankrupt KUSP in late 2016 for $605,000.
CCCR needs to raise around $300,000 by the end of April to complete the purchase. So far, things have been slow. CCCR is using a crowd-sourcing fundraising site [link] to solicit the funds. As of 10:00am CT on Sunday (4/16) the campaign had raised $82,778.
You might think that such an effort would create significant community interest but that hasn’t happened yet. However, the good folks of Santa Cruz seem to have little enthusiasm about Goodman’s projects. Her plan for the new station sounds like a flashback from the 1970s.
According to the weekly street-paper Good Times [link], CCCR asked local folks in a recent survey to describe what they want to sound like. The winners were “The old KUSP” followed by “Radio of, by and for the people.”
Of course, CCCR doesn’t mention the fact that this approach and awful management is what sank KUSP to begin with.
MEANWHILE, KAZU KEEPS GROWING
Another factor leading to KUSP’s end was the fact they could not compete with cross-market KAZU.
Ironically KAZU just bought three translators that used be owned by KUSP. EMF sold 89.3 K207CN Santa Cruz, 91.3 K217EK Palo Colorado Canyon, and 95.3 K237EV Big Sur Valley CA, for five thousand dollars ($5,000). Talk about a bargain! The three translator will repeat KAZU.