KCUR, KCPT Launch Public Media Partnership

Initial focus to be health reporting, public engagement and regional issues

Kansas City-based public media organizations KCUR and KCPT have announced a broad, ongoing partnership designed to enhance the public service mission of both outlets.

The partnership is not a merger of organizations, but a pooling of resources and commitment to collaboration. The partnership will initially focus on health and agriculture-related journalism and public engagement, and the two organizations will continue to explore additional opportunities for collaboration.

Leaders of the two organizations said they are adding strength and capacity to their newsgathering operations as part of their public service mission.

“For generations, American journalism has been dominated by the for-profit sector, but dramatic changes in the economics of that industry has led to coverage gaps – gaps that are of increasing concern to the public. In many communities, not just Kansas City, the not-for-profit sector is moving to fill those gaps,” said Nico Leone, general manager of KCUR.

Kliff Kuehl, president and CEO of KCPT, added “Both organizations have similar missions focused on public service, and both have similar audiences of people who are active and engaged in the community. There is a need for innovative strategies from public media to expand its mission and content to a greater audience and onto more platforms.  KCPT and KCUR have unique assets that are additive, rather than competitive, and therefore work together exceedingly well.”

89.3 KCUR, a service of the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is the NPR affiliate for Kansas City and KCPT is the PBS affiliate for Kansas City.  Both organizations provide news, arts and public affairs content online and on-air to the greater Kansas City area.

KCPT has been expanding its mission in recent months, greatly enhancing its journalism operation by launching the Hale Center for Journalism, and adding a music-focused radio station, The Bridge, broadcasting at 90.9 FM.

The KCPT-KCUR partnership will initially focus on three main areas:

  • KCPT’s Hale Center will become a partner in KCUR-based Harvest Public Media
  • KCUR and KCPT will participate in a new regional journalism collaborative on health issues that also includes the Kansas Health Institute News Service based in Topeka, Kan.
  • KCPT and KCUR will jointly launch and operate the Public Insight Network in Kansas City, an effort designed to add context and depth to their journalism through online crowdsourcing while creating a robust two-way conversation with the audience

Harvest Public Media is a reporting collaboration focused on issues of food, fuel and field. Based at KCUR, Harvest covers these agriculture-related topics through an expanding network of reporters and partner stations throughout the Midwest. Other Harvest Public Media partners include KBIA public media in Columbia, Mo.; Iowa Public Radio; NET Nebraska public broadcasting; KUNC public radio in Greeley, Colo.; and WUIS public radio in Springfield, Ill.

The Hale Center for Journalism at KCPT is a multimedia center for journalism that distributes local content through a variety of channels, including public television, public radio, the internet and social media. Its goal is to cover the issues and stories of the Kansas City region in a comprehensive, in-depth and innovative way.

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