PRSS Wins CPB Grant to Provide Metadata For California Disaster Simulation in October

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Erich Shea, NPR
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PRSS Wins CPB Grant to Provide Metadata For California Disaster Simulation in October

Washington – October 5, 2016 – The Public Radio Satellite System (PRSS) has received a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to implement the technology behind its MetaPub service in the Great California ShakeOut in mid-October.

Under the CPB grant, the PRSS will facilitate the delivery of metadata-enhanced emergency messages for six public radio stations in California that will participate in a simulated earthquake disaster known as the Great California ShakeOut at 10:20 am PT on October 20, 2016.

“Our participation in the Great California ShakeOut is another in a long line of initiatives where the PRSS leverages its technology, relationships and world class professional expertise to help develop and improve new methods of delivering emergency broadcast communications,” said Michael Beach, Vice President of NPR Distribution, which manages the PRSS. “It’s also another example of how we strive to work collaboratively with our interconnected stations, CPB, and other members of the public radio community.”

Great California ShakeOut station participants include::

  • KPBS, San Diego
  • KCRW, Santa Monica
  • KPCC, Pasadena
  • KQED, San Francisco
  • KCBX, San Luis Obispo
  • KXJZ (Capital Public Radio), Sacramento

The PRSS will provide stations the hardware and software capabilities to connect with the MetaPub system and broadcast emergency messages on the day of the ShakeOut.

“The PRSS’ involvement in providing its expertise and technology for the Great California ShakeOut underscores the important role public broadcasting can and does play in the current communications environment, particularly with regard to emergency communications,” said Erika Pulley-Hayes, Vice President of Radio at CPB. “Our support of PRSS and their six partner stations to facilitate the distribution and broadcast of critical communications is central to our public service mission.”

The PRSS MetaPub metadata-delivery system will enable the presentation of emergency alerts and related information on mobile devices and other digital platforms. The information will be heard and seen on mobile phones using the NextRadio mobile application, HD radios, and RDS displays, as well as via online audio streaming as available at each station.

For the Great California ShakeOut, the PRSS will provide the hardware and software technology necessary for the stations to access emergency metadata-enhanced messages and broadcast them to their listeners. The PRSS will also provide extensive engineering support and perform quality-assurance tests. In return, the stations will provide intelligence and feedback to the PRSS on installation and implementation of MetaPub.

For more information about PRSS’ MetaPub service, please visit the dedicated page located at For more details on the Great California ShakeOut, go to For any other questions or comments, please contact the PRSS Help Desk at 800.971.7677 or email

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About the PRSS
The Public Radio Satellite System® (PRSS) is the distribution network through which thousands of hours of news, music, and specialized audience programming are delivered every year to public radio stations throughout the United States. Managed by NPR Distribution, the PRSS is a unique, cooperative enterprise. Each participating station is a stakeholder in the collective assets of, and services provided by, the satellite system. Interconnected stations own their own downlink and uplink equipment. The satellite transponder capacity as well as the national operating system equipment located in Washington, are owned by the Public Radio Satellite Interconnection System Charitable Trust.

About CPB

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of nearly 1,500 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Posted: October 5, 2016