CPB-funded training to foster digital innovation

Duluth, MN (December 10, 2021) – WDSE-TV and WDSE-FM is among 75 public media stations selected to participate in the Digital Transformation Program, a virtual program developed by the Poynter Institute to educate, assist, and coach public media senior leaders and their staff on the best strategies and tactics to transform their organization’s digital operations and culture. The training is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). 

“We are pleased to be selected by CPB for this program, allowing us to continue to move both public television and radio forward and build upon the digital presence we’ve already established in our viewing and listening area,” said Patricia Mester, President and General Manager of WDSE•WRPT. “We know we have many loyal followers of public media both in and out of the market and by furthering our digital offerings we will be letting them continue with their favorite programs no matter where they are located.”

The program includes online coaching and training to accelerate their digital transformation efforts.

“CPB’s commitment to advancing innovation and diversity continues to be reflected through our strategic investments helping system leaders advance a digital-first, audience-centric approach,” said Patricia Harrison, CPB president and CEO. “The program will provide coaching and resources to help stations become more agile and leverage digital content, platforms, and data to grow and engage new and existing public media audiences.”

The program will be delivered to four groups of up to 20 public media leaders and their station’s personnel at a time. The groups will have staggered start and end dates over the course of two years, with a new group starting every three months. WDSE will join their group in 2022.

“The selected participants are some of the nation’s most trusted sources citizens turn to for local programming and information,” said Poynter President Neil Brown. “Our partnership with CPB will help public media outlets build digital-first strategies that inspire an even greater — and more sustainable — connection to grow with their communities.”

The stations selected, from Alaska to Florida, Southern California to Maine, include 40 public radio stations, 16 public television stations and 19 joint licensees. They will join the five National Multicultural Alliance Organizations – Black Public Media, the Center for Asian American Media, Latino Public Broadcasting, Pacific Islanders in Communications, and Vision Maker Media – to form four cohorts of 20 public media leaders, who will participate in the nine-month program. The first cohort will begin training in January.

About CPB The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,500 locally managed and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television, and related online services. For more information, visit cpb.org, follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook and LinkedIn and subscribe for email updates.


The Duluth-Superior Area Educational Television Corporation, known by its call letters WDSE•WRPT, is a community-supported nonprofit public media organization dedicated to illuminating, inspiring and enriching lives. WDSE•WRPT’s vision is to be essential to the communities it serves. The station creates original locally focused series, documentaries, and digital videos, as well as curates educational and entertaining content through PBS and other national partners. WDSE-FM has a powerful presence in the area community with a reputation for delivering community-minded programming, from alternative music and entertainment to news and public affairs. More at www.wdse.org and www.thenorth1033.org.


About The Poynter Institute The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media, and 21st-century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida, and at newsrooms, conferences, and organizations around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, offers the world’s largest online journalism curriculum, with hundreds of interactive courses and tens of thousands of registered international users. The Institute’s website produces 24-hour coverage about media, ethics, technology, and the business of news. Poynter is the home of the Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership, the Pulitzer Prize-winning PolitiFact, the International Fact-Checking Network and MediaWise, a digital information literacy project for young people, first-time voters, and senior citizens. The world’s top journalists and media innovators rely on Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians, and broadcasters. This work builds public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment, and discourse that serves democracy and the public good. Learn more at poynter.org.