VPR, Vermont PBS to merge, create new public media organization

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VERMONT (LOCAL22/44) — On Wednesday, the boards of Vermont PBS and Vermont Public Radio unanimously voted to merge and create a new public media organization.

The new organization will be led by Scott Finn—president and chief executive officer of VPR—and Steve Ferreira, the acting CEO of Vermont PBS.

“The talent at these two organizations is tremendous,” said Finn. “Their experience, passion, and collective commitment to serving the community inspires me. By coming together, we’ll have the ability to do even more—tell more stories, enhance promotion of art and culture, share educational resources, and connect neighbors. There’s so much opportunity. This is an exciting moment for all of us.” 

The new board will consist of existing VPR and Vermont PBS directors.  Nicole Junas Ravlin will serve as the chair of the new board of directors, while Marguerite Dibble will serve as vice chair.

“Vermont PBS and VPR are institutions,” said Ravlin. “Amid so much change in the world, public media, and the service it provides to Vermont and its communities, is more important than ever. By coming together we can ensure our mission strengthens and grows for generations to come.” 

Dibble said the two organizations share a mission and vision to connect Vermonters.

“It’s never been more important to strengthen public media and build deeper connections within our community,” she said. “By teaming up, we will be better positioned to serve the community.” 

Over the next several months, VPR and Vermont PBS will collaborate on an integration plan. Both organizations, along with their boards, will continue to exist separately through the integrated period.

“By coming together, not only will it make these organizations stronger and more sustainable, it’s going to allow us to do more for the community, whether that be educational services, news, or the promotion of arts, culture and music,” said Finn. “We’ve come to the conclusion that we can do these things better together.”

Steve Ferreira will serve as C.O.O. once the merger is official. He said the two organizations shouldn’t have much trouble meshing.

“We’ve reviewed the business models of both organizations, they’re both very strong but complimentary models,” Ferreira said. “The organizations have similar missions, similar listeners and viewers, and similar business models. They’re both public media organizations that raise money through membership, donations, underwriting and grants.”

The new organization’s target launch date is July 1, 2021, but is contingent upon regulatory approval from the Federal Communications Commission and recognition of tax-exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service. 

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