Coming Together For Vermont
We are very excited to announce that Vermont PBS and VPR will be joining forces, to better serve the needs of the community! This page and the executive summary document provides answers to some of the questions we anticipate from our member community.
December 10, 2020 - Vermont PBS and VPR Receive IRS and FCC Regulatory Approval, Clearing the Way for Planned Merger in July
This week, Vermont PBS and VPR received the regulatory approvals needed to proceed with the intended merger announced in September. The FCC has granted permission for the license transfer, and the IRS has granted tax-exempt status, clearing the way for the new organization to launch in July. More...
What is happening?
The boards of Vermont PBS and VPR have voted to merge the two organizations, to create a brand new media organization for Vermont. The next step is to seek FCC regulatory approval and IRS tax exempt status. This can be a lengthy process. We anticipate the new organization will launch July 1, 2021. In the meantime, both organizations will continue to operate normally, independent of one another.
Why is this happening?
For the past year, the boards of VPR and Vermont PBS have studied the question of whether the two organizations could better serve Vermont and beyond. Their finding on this question was a definite yes (read the executive summary of the report prepared by Public Media Company that spells out the details). In addition, our organizations have much in common including a public service mindset and mission as well as many of our core values. But we also complement one another; we can combine our expertise and capabilities to best meet the evolving media needs of people in our region. Finally, by bringing our two strong organizations together as one we can best weather the challenging conditions that threaten local media and the critical service we provide to inform, entertain, educate and inspire those that we serve.
How will this affect me?
As a public service organization, our first priority is our community, and we’ll be building this new organization with you in mind. We anticipate that we will be able to offer our community a deeper and richer experience, while preserving the things you love most about VPR and Vermont PBS. Throughout the interim period, we will be engaging with our community to seek input as we plan for the new organization, and we’ll communicate with you throughout the process.
What will happen to my favorite programs and hosts?
There won’t be any immediate changes as a result of the planned integration. Over time, our programming and services will grow. Together we will be able to provide more of the content you love, in more ways, to suit your needs and preferences.
How did the boards make this decision?
Last fall, members of the two boards decided to take a serious look at the feasibility of combining the two organizations. The idea had been discussed many times over the years, and they decided to pursue a formal study. Public Media Company was hired to analyze the opportunity - you can read the executive summary of their report online at https://r.vermontpbs.org/files/VPMS_Study_Executive_Summary.pdf. After many months of reviewing data, the boards decided we’d be stronger together, and better able to serve your needs. Today (Sept. 9, 2020), they officially voted to merge.
Who is on the new board?
- Donna Austin-Hawley
- Dennise Casey
- Jim Clubb
- Hal Colston
- Marguerite Dibble, Vice Chair
- John Evans, Investment Chair
- Tom Evslin, Planning Chair
- Peter Graham
- Wanda Heading-Grant, Secretary
- Beth Rattigan
- Bill Stetson, Development Chair
- David Taplin
- Robert Allen, Finance Chair
- Dawn Andrews
- Charlie Browne
- Scott Finn, President & CEO
- Lane Fury, Audit Chair
- Elizabeth Glenshaw
- Garrett Graff
- Wayne Granquist, Treasurer
- Judy Joyce
- Nicole Junas Ravlin, Chair
- Molly Lambert
- Scott McArdle
- Ellen McCulloch-Lovell, Nominating Chair
- Willemien Miller
- Orly Munzing
- Brad Robertson
- Steve Swayne
- Peggy Williams
- Bob Young
What happens to the existing boards?
Both boards will continue to exist until the closing, which we anticipate will occur in July 2021.
Is one organization taking over?
No. Vermont PBS and VPR will have equal weight, and will play equal roles, as we build the new organization.