WYPR & WTMD Combine Forces, Redefine Community-Centric Broadcasting as Baltimore Public Media

Modified: February 26, 2024

Baltimore Public Media (BPM) proudly announces its official launch today, February 26, 2024, uniting WYPR and WTMD under a single, dynamic umbrella. This transformative collaboration heralds a new era in community-centered media, marked by an innovative expression: “Community Amplified.”

The journey to Baltimore Public Media began in November 2021 when WYPR 88.1FM acquired WTMD 89.7 FM from Towson University, bringing both listener-supported stations under the Your Public Radio umbrella and preserving WTMD’s distinctive music discovery format and commitment to community-driven programming.

“Welcoming WTMD reinforced the organization’s commitment to community-first, public media, while ensuring the preservation of WTMD’s cherished format,” said Craig N. Swagler, who in August 2023 took on the role of President and General Manager overseeing the direction of both stations. “The goal has always been to honor the distinct identity of each station while uniting the diverse stories and voices within the communities we serve. As Baltimore Public Media, we remain dedicated to fulfilling our brand promise: providing rich, vibrant programming in news, music, arts, and culture across expanding radio, digital and live events formats, connecting, enriching, and elevating the residents and communities of Baltimore and the region.”

The rebranding process began in January 2023, and was led by Baltimore-based integrated marketing and communications agency idfive. The effort involved engaging with the Community Advisory Board, station board members, donors, staff and the wider listening community. Themes of community, integrity, and connection resonated deeply with the stations’ collective vision and resulted in the Baltimore Public Media brand identity. In addition to the new name, a new logo, and enhanced platforms, BPM worked with Baltimore artist and composer Wendel Patrick to create a sonic identity that captures the spirit of BPM’s commitment to news, arts, and culture. Patrick and WYPR share a long collaborative history, most notably on WYPR’s Out of The Blocks. Patrick has also contributed to WTMD projects and programming.

“The new sonic identity is composed of five distinct notes representing the five syllables of WTMD and WYPR. The composition is intended to invoke a sense of place,” said Patrick. “With sounds of voices and movement, it is reminiscent of the world our community navigates, and BPM is the soundtrack of their daily lives. Through each exposure to these distinctive sounds, a sense of familiarity, trust, and, community is enshrined.”

“Seamlessly integrating sonic branding into every interaction within the community experience. Sonic branding influences content creation, listener experience, and in-person touchpoints. It represents a comprehensive embrace of the power of sound” said Jonathan Blakley, Chief Content Officer.

“Our new parent company brand symbolizes the union of WYPR and WTMD, connecting their shared commitment to community, diverse storytelling, and their profound roots in radio,” said Kristin Laporte, Director of Marketing & Strategy for Baltimore Public Media. “Baltimore Public Media also embodies our dedication to extending beyond traditional radio, ensuring accessibility, and enriching the lives of our community – meeting them wherever they are — across Baltimore City and County, throughout Maryland, and beyond, online, on-demand, on mobile, through events and in ways not yet imagined.”

Baltimore Public Media’s promise stands firm—to deliver diverse, enriching programming in news, music, arts, and culture across radio and digital formats, connecting and elevating the residents and communities of Baltimore and beyond.

“WYPR and WTMD together as Baltimore Public Media will continue to be connected and committed to our home base of Baltimore. We will continue to provide quality music programming, distinguished journalism, and enrich our community through the continuous focus on, and access to, both,” emphasized Lisa Manzone, Baltimore Public Media board chair.

To learn more about BPM to listen to the sonic brand, check out www.baltimorepublicmedia.org/about-bpm.

 

WTMD is sponsored by

WTMD is sponsored by

WTMD is sponsored by

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