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Jeff Taylor, membership and outreach coordinator for WUOT 91.9 FM, is one of three individuals from National Public Radio member stations selected to participate in NPR’s Incubation Lab. WUOT is a charter member of NPR, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this month.

Jeff Taylor, membership and outreach coordinator for WUOT 91.9 FM

The Incubation Lab’s mission is to develop ideas that enable NPR and member stations to reach and engage new audiences, create new audience experiences, and support public radio’s long-term financial sustainability. It offers member station colleagues the chance to participate alongside NPR staffers in a four-month initiative to research public radio issues, generate ideas, test prototypes, and—based on their findings—propose possible solutions to challenges facing the network and its member stations.

Taylor will join NPR staff and colleagues Chris Maccini, from Spokane Public Radio, and Kelsey Proud, from WAMU in Washington, DC, to address the realities of an increasingly fragmented media environment. They will tackle questions like “How is ‘local’ defined and expressed through digital experiences that are not specific to a location?” and “How can a generation of listeners, viewers, and readers who may not have an established affinity to their local radio stations contribute to them?”

Taylor said he believes in the power of public radio to enrich the lives of the people WUOT serves.

“This is an incredible opportunity to be a part of discussions and solutions regarding the future of public radio. Everyone wants to feel connected—so what does this mean for our industry moving forward? I’m excited not only for myself but for WUOT to have a say in what is possible.”

Taylor will spend the first and last two weeks of the project at NPR headquarters in Washington, DC, and will work remotely from Knoxville for the remainder of the 12 weeks. The lab team’s work will be presented at various public radio meetings during the summer and fall.

“Everyone at WUOT cares deeply about the mission of public radio and our service to East Tennessee,” he said. “Being a part of this lab parallels a number of similar conversations our station has had over the last two years. The timing to be a part of this challenging work couldn’t be better.”

Listener-supported WUOT 91.9 FM is licensed to the University of Tennessee. Qualified by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, WUOT serves listeners throughout East Tennessee and parts of Kentucky, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia. The station broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and streams on the web at wuot.org. WUOT’s second audio channel, WUOT-2, is available on HD Radio, internet radio, and the web.

CONTACT:

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460, tyra.haag@tennessee.edu)