What is PRPD?

PRPD is a vital part of the public radio community with a membership that includes almost 200 members representing over 800 stations, public radio organizations, national networks and independent producers.



The mission of PRPD is to be public media's principal advocate for content on radio and all other platforms. PRPD exists to support the role programmers play in providing the highest level of service to their audience. It leads, trains and provides resources to program directors, content managers and other programming decision makers including station staff and producers.

PRPD accomplishes this mission by: defining and advocating for the principles of quality programming; training programming decision makers in basic and advanced programming skills, and building stronger connections among the various facets of the public media community. (Revised July 2010)



In five years, PRPD will be public media's most respected industry organization, thanks to its laser focus on the quality of public media content, and its leadership in training, as well as the research and development of best practices. PRPD's annual conference will be a must-attend for public radio professionals, the sole convening where all disciplines can discuss the primary role content plays in creating and building audience. PRPD will be seen as the most-valuable-partner for other organizations seeking to explore key strategic and operational questions about content and audience service across all platforms.  (Added July 2010)



In the mid-1980s a group of public radio program directors started talking about the need for an organization that would help them, and all PDs, with their jobs. They wanted to improve the service they provided their listeners by honing their programming skills and professionalizing the role of PDs throughout the public radio system.

The organization they envisioned would serve a number of functions:
  • Provide PDs with good, successful, hands-on advice about improving their stations and their programming
  • Provide opportunities for programmers to get together and discuss their craft
  • Act as a clearing house for information about what was going on in public radio, as well as the rest of the broadcasting industry, and
  • Serve as an advocate for program directors and their perspective on important public radio issues.
To meet those objectives, PRPD was incorporated in 1987.