The Baltimore Banner, a multi-platform news organization established by The Venetoulis Institute for Local Journalism, and Your Public Radio (WYPR) 88.1FM, Baltimore’s NPR news station, today announced a joint operating agreement that will allow the nonprofit organizations to work collaboratively to deliver quality journalism across the state.
Your Public Radio is an independent community licensee and a top-ranking news/talk station in the market airing local, national and international radio content. WYPR excels in local programming and journalism through outstanding shows like Midday and On the Record as well as its award-winning newsroom. With signals in Baltimore (WYPR 88.1 FM), Frederick (WYPF 88.1 FM) and Ocean City (WYPO 106.9 FM), the station also produces and distributes award-winning local podcasts through its Your Public Studios including favorites like The Daily Dose, The Maryland Curiosity Bureau, Essential Tremors, as well as newly added Local Color, The Bounce and Wavelength. Recently, in November 2021, Your Public Radio acquired WTMD 89.7 FM, preserving WTMD’s license, music discovery format and community connection to local artists, musicians and music lovers.
Both teams will work together to cover stories, special reports and develop joint programming to serve the needs of communities throughout Baltimore and around the state. This includes content sharing across platforms accessible to Baltimore Banner subscribers and the Your Public Radio audience and members. One of the first collaborations will be to cover the upcoming local elections.
The agreement provides an opportunity to expand the capacity and reach of each organization’s newsroom, increasing their ability to cover more issues and stories that matter. The teams will work together, leveraging WYPR’s audio expertise to create a series of joint podcasts and radio programming. The organizations are committed to working collaboratively to strengthen local news by leveraging platforms to reach a broader audience throughout the state and expanding their distribution channels to include, radio, podcasts, video, data and visual journalism.
“We are looking forward to the possibilities of this unique model of nonprofit news as we work to preserve and strengthen local journalism here in greater Baltimore,” said LaFontaine E. Oliver, president of Your Public Radio and general manager of WYPR. “This partnership between Your Public Radio and The Baltimore Banner is an important step to bolster our local newsrooms in Maryland – with trusted, community reporting at the core of the agreement between the two organizations.”
“We are excited to partner with WYPR, an NPR news Member station, with a long history demonstrating the principles and values we share at The Baltimore Banner,” said Imtiaz Patel, chief executive officer of The Venetoulis Institute for Local Journalism. “Our goal is to strengthen Baltimore’s local reporting, growing our coverage statewide. This partnership is a force multiplier for both organizations to expand our coverage and bring the very best local news to the region and state. We can’t imagine a better partner than LaFontaine and the WYPR family to serve the varied needs of Baltimore’s communities and have a positive impact.”
In addition to content sharing, newsroom collaboration and the ability to reach a broader audience, the agreement allows expanded marketing and sponsorship opportunities to be offered, creating added value for sponsors and financial support for both organizations. The Baltimore Banner will benefit from access to WYPR’s strong dedicated listenership and network of supporters, including recently acquired WTMD 89.7 FM.