Minnesota Public Radio suddenly has $56 million to invest in its YourClassical radio and streaming service, thanks to an anonymous donor.
MPR, which is part of the American Public Media Group (APMG) said the cash gift is the largest in the organization’s 55-year history. In keeping with the donor’s explicit intent for the donation, MPR says the funds will be used exclusively to serve YourClassical audiences and provide technological support for new media transmission.
In April, MPR and APMG combined Classical MPR, which is broadcast across Minnesota, and YourClassical, which offers curated streams, features and nationally syndicated programming, into a new unified brand, which is housed at YourClassical.org. As part of the combining of the entities, Classical MPR was rebranded as YourClassical MPR.
Now the sky’s the limit for what already is the largest classical public media organization in the country – and how it can expand to new audiences.
Jean Taylor, APMG President and CEO said the “extraordinary gift will have a transformative impact on the future of Minnesota Public Radio and the communities we serve. It will enable us to deepen and broaden our relevance with a growing audience by delivering compelling content, creating meaningful listening experiences and advancing MPR’s digital capabilities and infrastructure.”
MPR says it will establish a separate permanent endowment to steward the massive contribution so it can best serve the donor’s designated purpose. It plans to use some of the money to increase national appreciation of classical music and expand audience reach with new programming and technologies. It said it will divvy up the funds between classical programming and new media technologies to fit the organization’s strategic priorities. And how MPR invests in new media technology will serve as a model for digital transformation across APMG, it said.
“More than a quarter of the music we play at YourClassical features a musician, ensemble, or composer who is a woman and/or a Black person, Indigenous person or person of color,” said Duchesne Drew, APMG Senior VP & President of MPR. “This generous gift will allow us to expand representation, grow YourClassical’s presence and accelerate digital innovation to broaden and better serve our classical music community.”
APMG is the largest station-based public radio organization in the U.S. Its network reaches over 17 million listeners with nearly 1,000 public radio stations and over 400 commercial stations nationwide each week.