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“Our initial request are going to individuals, philanthropic-oriented individuals, and foundations,” she said.
The fundraising process is still very much active and in its early stages as of our conversation last week.
That model, interestingly enough, put WNYC Studios in roughly the same category as Panoply (disclaimer: my day-job employer), which pursues projects of similar vein.
Of course, the key difference being that WNYC Studios is rolling off a rich history of successful broadcast-oriented programming.
“The place where the huge growth is happening has to do with mobile and audio…We don’t want to cede that territory to anybody else.” He went on to maintain two things: (1) The formalization of WNYC Studios as an organizational structure is meant to recognize that there’s been an uptake in digital audio, and (2) the development is also, in part, a way to respect the fact that audiences for broadcast programming and audiences for on-demand audio want distinctly separate things.
The division, then, can be read a move to better position the station to optimize programming for both platform categories.
It strikes me as relatively brisk, especially for a public institution — according to a common groan I hear in the industry, any decision-making process around a project of this scale tends to be slow.
When talking to Cappello about WNYC Studios’ content development process, an obvious analogy emerged: that of a film production company.
However, that analogy turned out to be a lot more literal than initially anticipated. “We see HBO going into the podcast business, but we should also look at HBO.
Furthermore, one could also probably infer the emotional context of the room: November 2014, the earliest possible date that plan could’ve been unveiled to the board, was the month that saw Serial entering the middle chunk of its narrative…and steadily approaching the peak of public obsession.
(Coincidentally, November 2014 was also the month when Hot Pod was born.) Glancing at the slate of shows announced with the division’s launch, it appears that a big chunk of WNYC Studio’s initial development adopts a model that significantly targets partnerships with media organizations and personalities.