Livingston Associates

Strategy and Assessment

Livingston Associates leverages its three plus decades of hands-on leadership in public media and its expertise in strategic planning, in a range of services including strategic plans, assessments facilitating strategic meetings and retreats, and reports and proposals.

Strategy clients have included National Public Radio, The News Hour, Alaska Public Media, the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities and large and small local public media organizations nationwide.

Our philosophy and practice of Strategic Planning is that the process is as much the product as the written document. Our planning work results in a work-force that is

  • More aware of the customers and the competitive environment;
  • More strategically focused
  • More aligned with the direction of the organization.

  • We do this in part by creating an open, safe environment, and appropriately involve all stakeholders in the process.

    Man facing fork in the road and having to make a decision.

    How we can Help You

    Full Strategic Plans- What is your organization great at? What are the areas that need improvement? Knowing where you need to go and knowing the steps that you need to take to get there are challenges faced by every public media organization. With our expertise and your knowledge, together we will design a roadmap to success, which will lead to greater community engagement and increased listener support.

    Board Development/Board Services- It’s no coincidence that the most vibrant local public media organizations are those with the strongest Boards of Directors. We provide a full range of services to Boards, from tools to help the board measure the effectiveness of, and grow the organization, such as compensation studies and succession planning, to help with maintaining and growing the effectiveness of the Board itself, such as board retreat facilitation.

    Interim Management Services- Need a manager while a search is being conducted? With decades of management experience, including many interim management jobs, your station is in the right hands with us. No other firm can come close to matching our expertise in the strategic issues and opportunities in public radio and television. Among our Interim GM clients have been Capital Public Radio, WWNO and WITF-FM.

    Interim Editing Services- While we’re searching for your newsroom’s next leader, Livingston Associates can provide an experienced, award-winning interim editor to maintain your high editorial standards and minimize disruption to your current news staff. We will conduct an initial consultation to evaluate your needs and goals and work with you and your news staff to set coverage priorities and newsroom operation guidelines for the interim period. Thereafter, the interim editor will provide start-to-finish network-style edits for the majority of your long-form radio news pieces (aka, features or depths). The interim editor will communicate regularly with your in-house assignment editor/coordinator and can provide coaching for that person on story scheduling, assignments, and other newsroom systems meaning your station’s news coverage remains high caliber.

    Collaboration Support (Partnership, Consolidation, and Acquisition)- Public media is facing a unique time in its history. With the digital revolution dramatically transforming media usage, and the landscape of heritage media, the fundamental structure of our organizations is a matter for Board and Management alike to understand and act on. Do we have the right scale? What our our strengths and areas to shore up going forward through potential partnerships? Who are the right partners for us to consider? How do we start the conversation? What is the appropriate price for a contemplated acquisition? We’ve participated in and or guided many projects in this arena, from a major study for the public media organizations in Alaska to acquisition business plan evaluations (Houston Public Radio).

    Organizational Assessments- Either as the first step in a strategic planning effort, or as a stand-alone look at a business unit or entire organization, we’ve conducted dozens of evaluations in public media. With our deep public media experience and strategic overview of the enterprise, we review available strategic documents (audience and revenue performance) and conduct extensive stakeholder interviewing to arrive at comprehensive reviews and concise recommendations for responding to the findings of the assessment.

    Compensation/Salary Studies- For clients such as Nevada Public Radio, Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) and WTJX (Virgin Islands Public Television), Livingston Associates has utilized Form 990 reviews and customized station benchmarking studies to evaluate CEO and other staff compensation levels.

    Organizational Development & Team Building- Your station is a unique team. By identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your team, and drawing on ways to harness the strengths and address weaknesses, you will grow as an organization. We have a great deal of experience in working with teams so that they can realize their full potential, leading to a more robust organization.

    Community Engagement- How connected is your station with the community? How do you know? Utilizing the work of Richard Barrett and the Barrett Values Centre, Livingston Associates has created a groundbreaking assessment tool to measure your station's relationship with the communities that you serve. By aligning goals, your station will be better able to serve your community and become the essential institution that your community requires.