This could all be pie in the sky, of course. But even if he's only half successful, this could be a major shift in how L.A. gets covered. Ken Doctor at Newsonomics has the story, and here's an excerpt:
The initial four stations involved in the alliance planning are WNYC in New York, WBEZ in Chicago, KPCC in Los Angeles and Minnesota Public Radio, in the Twin Cities, says Bill Kling, current (and now retiring, ”MPR’s Bill Kling Steps Down — and Up — From Public Radio“) president and CEO of the American Public Media Group (APMG), the parent of the L.A. and Twin Cities stations, as well as a major syndicator of public radio programming.
One hundred “public media” reporters and editors in a market is a huge increase. Among those four stations, the news staff now ranges from 12 to 30 each. It’s tough to count precisely because these are legacy radio operations, and radio requires different job descriptions than digital news. Still, at those numbers, the alliance members are aiming at adding more than 300 reporters and editors in four markets, if the plans succeed. Kling says the positions created “would be a very good job for people who love journalism,” in the six figures with full benefits.
Kling and his colleagues are strategizing their plans and foundation asks — and his hope is that funding can be locked down by next June, when he formally steps from his APMG post. He says his post-retirement plan is to focus on the building out of public media. If it is, hiring could commence by mid-2011.
How much funding?
The plan will cost about $5 million per market per year, says Kling, or $25 million for a five-year funding plan, which is what the group aims to obtain. So that’s $100 million if four markets can be launched; $150 million, it it’s six markets. After the first four markets, Kling says, “we’d go on to five, six, seven, eight.”