Case Study: KSPS Public Television

 

Case Study: KUOW.org



Case Study: KUOW.org


 

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Challenge


Based in Spokane Washington, KSPS is one of the nation’s oldest public television stations, broadcasting great programs since 1967 to an audience of over 2 million people across the Northwest and Canada. Despite its rich legacy, strong management and staff, and stable finances and infrastructure, in recent years, KSPS began to recognize that fundamental shifts in the media landscape presented it to new threats to its long term viability. Like newspapers and other traditional broadcast television providers, KSPS faced stiff new competition from a proliferation of online digital media alternatives. It also had to manage the challenges of maintaining and upgrading expensive legacy broadcast technology, ensuring competitive salaries for staff, and producing new programming, demands made more difficult due to a steady erosion in revenue from its traditional annual membership and fundraising drives.



Results


KSPS retained Altruist in 2018 to help return the station to growth. After a performance benchmark exercise highlighted new opportunities in program design, branding, marketing, and fundraising, Altruist worked with staff and volunteers to deliver a new business plan in 2019 which featured a revised value proposition, new directions for earned and contributed revenue, and new management processes to ensure focused execution. By 2020, fundraising increased 35%, memberships grew 6% after years of slow decline, and corporate support grew 17%, despite the pandemic. As CEO Gary Stokes observed, "We thought the new business plan would be a 5-year roadmap to the future. Instead, it became our GPS. Our five-year plan became a right-now plan."




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"We thought the new business plan would be a 5-year roadmap to the future. Instead, it became our GPS. Our five-year plan became a right-now plan."


Gary Stokes

General Manager

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