Longtime community radio resource Radio Free America this week announced it would cease operations on Aug. 15.
A statement to stations read, in part:
As we’ve continued to navigate the complexities of serving the mission of nonprofit organizations – while at the same time operating as a for profit company – over time, it’s become clear that our “free service” model could not be sustainable without a very high listener adoption rate. Our hope was that station-based audience growth would combine with the platform synergies of content from over 150 stations to drive on-demand traffic to the level we needed for sponsorship and other continued investment in the company. Recently, we proposed to pivot to a two-phased approach to maintain viability by 1) putting forth a “monthly contribution” model based on a station’s ability to pay and 2) drafting plans to transition to a nonprofit organization. The ultimate intention was to ask stations to share in the real costs of making terrestrial content available to their listeners in a digital, archived format as well as to allow for funding possibilities not typically available to for-profit companies. It is now apparent that this plan for continued viability is unfortunately coming at the wrong time. After careful consideration and much deliberation, Radio Free America has simply run out of options. We no longer have investor backing to adequately fund the company and do not anticipate a sizeable enough commitment from stations to continue our operation going forward.
Stations with questions may send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.