This newspaper story from Binghamton NY gives some interesting insights into the business of public radio, specifically NPR type programming. This NPR affiliate is revamping their two groups of licenses to what they call “single format programming”, meaning carrying news and information all day or carrying classical music all day, and not commingling them.
The nonprofit running the stations commissioned three separate studies starting in 2009 (which presumably were funded by listener contributions or perhaps CPB) that all told them the same thing – that they needed to switch to single format stations to better serve their listeners. For 10 years, they ignored the advice of their consultants.
Another interesting takeaway, not particularly surprising, is that people who listen to the news and information format are more likely to give money to the station.