For three decades, Mark Fuerst has been recognized as one of the preeminent thought leaders and creative entrepreneurs in U. S. public media.
In 2015 he was selected for the “PRRO Award” for “Outstanding Contributions Made on Behalf of Public Radio Stations Nationwide.”
In his mid-20s, Mark helped to redefine the concept of community radio at WORT-FM in Madison, where he served Development Director, later Business Manager, and senior public affairs producer, hosting monthly call in programs with Madison’s Mayor, Joel Skornicka, and co-hosting the Pacifica Radio broadcast of the 1980 Democratic National Convention from Madison Square Garden.
In his 30’s, as General Manager of WXPN-FM, University of Pennsylvania’s station in Philadelphia he worked with an extraordinary staff to invent a new public radio format--Adult Alternative/Acoustic (AAA). Using that format, WXPN launched the first NPR contemporary music program, World Café, now heard on 581 stations around the United States. Partnering with United Stations Radio Network, Mark and his team also created The Difference with Todd Lundgren which brought the the music of World Café to 200 commercial radio stations.
With this success in the mid-90s, WXPN became the fastest-growing public radio station in the U. S. Its programming reached 1.5 million listeners each week.
Mark also played a leading role in developing and sustaining America's only daily radio call-in show for children, Kid’s Corner, which was selected for the George Foster Peabody Award (1991). Kid's Corner, now in its 26th year, continues to serve to the families and children of the greater Philadelphia area.
In 1997, Mark left WXPN to form Innovation4Media (I4M), the first consulting company to focus exclusively on the relationship between new media and public broadcasting. Since that time, he has worked with station, network and association leaders in public broadcasting to understand the service and business opportunities of the digital era.
With encouragement and support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), he organized the Integrated Media Association (IMA). With active participation from NPR, PBS, American Public Media, Public Radio International, and 30 leading stations, IMA became the leading industry advisory group for new media strategy and practice in U. S. public broadcasting.
From in 2003 to 2010, Mark directed six national Public Media Conferences and seven national research projects on topics ranging from online fundraising and email marketing to digital music streaming.
From 2007 to 2009 he directed the CPB Public Media Innovation Fund, placing $800,000 in 40 R&D pilot projects in online news, social networking, new business models and online education.
In 2008, he worked with IMA members to create Public Media Metrics (PMM). PMM applied Google Analytics to monitor activity at more than 100 non-commercial online properties, creating the first widely-deployed comparative performance tracking service for public media websites.
Most recently, starting in 2012, Mark directed and developed Public Media Futures Forums, a project of the Philadelphia-based Wyncote Foundation.
Under his guidance, the Forums have examined:
|Public Broadcasting Revenues 1997 - 2008, A Tale of Two Systems developed for Current in 2012.||Understanding the Program Economydeveloped for the Public Radio Program Directors Assoc. (2013).|
|Local Programming in Public Television developed in collaboration with TRAC Media (2012).||Understanding Impact, developed in partnership with the Center for Investigative Reporting (2014).|
|Finding The Next $100 Million Opportunity: The Promise of Major Gifts and Sustainers (2012).||The Future of Membership developed in partnership with Greater Public (2014 - 15).|
|The Growing Capacity Gap, the implications of differential growth at large and small licensees (2013).||What's Going on with Podcasting? Its evolution, trajectory, and likely impact on public radio (2015).|
|Generation Gaps in Public Media, the diverging views of the C-Suite vs. Young Professionals (2013).||Opportunities in Journalism: The Next News Network, developed with the Station Resource Group (2016).|
|The Dangers of "Going Local," what research tells us about local programming (2013).||Collaborations that Worked, five case studies of successful reorganization, developed for Public Media Business Association (2016).|
His latest Futures Forum project is “Local that Works,” a nation-wide research project that has collected and evaluated more than 300 examples of local public media service, looking to identify projects that are efficient, effective and replicable across a wide range of public radio and TV stations.
Mark earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Manhattan College and a Masters Degree in Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.