WBUR's Public Radio BizLab

BizLab is here

to break ahead of the inevitable disruption of the public radio ecosystem.

WBUR launched BizLab in 2015, with funding from the Knight Foundation, believing it is critical that we invest in innovation and experimentation to identify new revenue channels to sustain public radio into the future. Given the changing landscape of journalism, media consumption, and digital advertising, there is an increasing urgency to test and measure the effectiveness of different funding models. Our collective concern is that public radio stations have not systematically explored options for increasing sustainability of their programming. At BizLab, we want to enable stations to uncover new avenues for revenue generation, distinct from traditional approaches including on-air drives, direct mail, and underwriting.

  • to our listeners, our partner stations, and business partners.

  • through ideation, brainstorming, and inspiration from parallel industries.

  • using the methods of lean start-ups, to evaluate desirability, feasibility, and viability.

  • when we see results. Build out an idea as a new line of revenue for public radio.



Executive Director
Joan has a PhD from the MIT Media Lab and she leads teams in user-centered, lean ideation methods through to the successful launch of new web and mobile products.

Sarah Bloomer

Experience Strategist
Sarah is an experienced UX leader passionate about co-creating successful UX teams and facilitating product innovation. She is Principal and Consultant at Sarah Bloomer & Co, LLC and working as a consultant with BizLab

Cynthia Yue

BizLab Fellow
Cynthia was a 2018 Fellow with BizLab, trained as a UX Designer and visiting from Cornell University.

Suzie Hicks

BizLab Fellow
Suzie was a 2018 BizLab Fellow, joining us from Emerson College and 88.9 WERS.


BizLab Fellow
Cynthia was a 2018 Fellow with BizLab, trained as a UX Designer, Web Developer, and visiting University of Michigan.


Our Collaborators
Our many colleagues across WBUR are fearlessly jumping in and helping us try new things at the station.


BizLab is funded through the generous support of WBUR, individual donors, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and the Knight Foundation.

Our Latest Experiments