On Monday, New York Public Radio announced a $10 million dollar grant from the Jerome L. Greene Foundation. According to the station, it’s the largest gift ever given to a public radio station.
The timing is convenient, as WNYC literally JUST wrapped up its winter pledge drive — 9 days of ceaseless appeals for listener donations, accompanied by exclamations like “We can’t do this without you!” and promises of travel mugs and magazine subscriptions — on February 28.
Now, just ten days later we gullible dopes are confronted with the cold reality: they can do it without us, and we just paid way over market value for this travel mug.
Even before this large gift, from the same foundation for which WNYC’s Greene Space is named, New York Public Radio had enough money to pay CEO Laura Walker a whopping $626,529 per year, according to the station’s most recent tax returns.
Not that that money isn’t well-earned! Walker is responsible for turning WNYC into the nonprofit powerhouse it is today: she oversaw the purchase of WNYC’s licenses from the city of New York, and, under her leadership, WNYC has rapidly expanded to include WQXR (purchased from the New York Times Company in ’09) and New Jersey Public Radio (launched shortly after New Jersey Network ceased broadcast in ’11).
She has also, according to her station bio, raised funds to build a new headquarters and launch new programming initiatives. Most of of the new grant from the Greene Foundation, $8 million will be earmarked for “digital innovation,” via its mobile app.
The other $2 million will go toward subsidizing ticket costs for events at the Greene Space, where WNYC hosts everything from lectures to speed dating.