For immediate release: March 23, 1998

Contact: Siriol Jane Evans at NPR, 202-414-2313
Janet de Acevedo at PRI, 612-330-9230
Jeannie Bunton at CPB, 202-879-9687

America One International Project To Sign Off

Washington, D.C. — After more than two years of round-the-clock programming, the jointly-operated America One public radio project designed for satellite and cable listeners overseas will cease operations on March 31st, 1998. The experimental cooperative venture among National Public Radio® (NPR® ), Public Radio International (PRI) and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) was established in 1995 to explore the potential for bringing the highest-quality news, information and cultural programming to European audiences, including expatriate Americans.

"We’ve learned a great deal about the European broadcast scene, and we found the experience of the America One experiment very useful in guiding our long-term strategic planning," says NPR president and chief executive officer Del Lewis. "This partnership also taught us that there is value in collaboration among public radio organizations for the benefit of audiences."

CPB contributed $750,000 over a three-year period to help establish the service. That funding has now ended, and the partners in the venture have determined that financial resources are insufficient to maintain the joint project.

"This project introduced public radio’s unique sound to listeners worldwide," says PRI president and chief executive officer Stephen Salyer. "In retrospect, we were a bit before our time. The international visibility that public radio gained, however, opens the way for sustainable strategies that will follow."

CPB president Robert Coonrod, who was instrumental in establishing America One, says "I believe it can serve as a valuable model in measuring other public radio ventures that use new technologies and serve new audiences. We are pleased to have been part of this experiment and look forward to applying the lessons we’ve learned into new areas."

Both NPR and PRI are currently evaluating independent plans for distribution of programming to listeners in Europe, and will announce details as they become available.