NPR hides its radio roots


What’s in a media name? Back in the 1990s the company 1-800-FLOWERS — whose early success hinged on acquiring a killer mnemonic phone number — changed its name to 1-800-FLOWERS.com. Accent on the dot-com. You know, in case you missed the point, the Internet was the new, big thing.

Media fashion bubbles rise and fall, but now in 2010 we find it curious that radio — a continued mainstay in consumers’ media mix — appears to be flopping as fast as the web popped as a branding entity. Public Radio International, once nicknamed American Public Radio, a few years back began promoting all of its radio programming under the non-radio rubric American Public Media. Last week, National Public Radio announced it will rebrand itself solely as NPR, meaning henceforth the NPR acronym, like KFC, will only stand for itself. Perhaps it’s too much to ask that AT&T still spell out the telegraph in its final “T,” but with Americans stuck in traffic 3.7 billion hours each year, we wonder why brands that remain focused on radio fear its name so much.

Image: Onkel Wart

One thought on “NPR hides its radio roots

  1. My cut is that NPR is seeing real online revenue opportunities from its subscriber base that dwarf in intensity what they see over the air. I probably do 70% of my NPR listening over the web, and I’ve contributed over the web whereas I have not over the air.

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