A central part of the Public Media Mergers Project involved building a set of tools for other researchers, journalism support organizations and newsrooms to use when studying and considering mergers of this kind. You can use the tools below to support the consideration, diligence, and execution of a newsroom merger at your outlet. Click on the images of each tool to download a copy.

Business Model Calculator 


This template was created by Erin Moran and Evran Kavlak at Public Media Company as a tool to assess the financial viability of a newsroom merger. It is based on over 200 business models that Public Media Company has created over the past two decades. It should be noted that the scope and the extent of the financial model might vary depending on the overall vision, size of the newsrooms, type of the organizations (commercial versus noncommercial, broadcast versus online), and the intended reach (local, regional, national, or international). If you have any questions about the template, please contact Evran Kavlak at


Due Diligence Checklist

Public broadcasters and independent newsrooms will need a wide array of documents and materials from the other side in order to make an informed decision about a merger. Public Media Company created this Due Diligence Checklist for this process.

Implementation Checklist

Both when considering and when executing an acquisition, newsroom leaders should understand the full range of decisions that need to be made. To aid with this process, the Public Media Company put together this implementation plan checklist. The primary purpose of the checklist is to help public broadcasters and independent newsroom operations identify and monitor the key activities involved in leading up to a formal merger agreement.

Structuring a Newsroom Merger

Public Media Company captured the range of options for combining two newsrooms and the legal documents involved in this Structuring a Newsroom Merger document. Structures can range from a less formal task-focused partnership, which means the two newsrooms collaborating on specific joint stories or projects through shared resources, to an acquisition, where one organization agrees to acquire the assets of another organization.

Sample Timeline

Public Media Company, based on its work advising and structuring newsroom acquisitions in public media, suggests that a process can take anywhere from nine months to a year or more. See this tool for a sample overall timeline. Of course, the timeline and activities will vary depending on the overall vision, size of the newsrooms, type of the organizations, legal structure, and the newsroom reach.

Market Map

This map of public media and digital news site locations was created by NPR’s Christina Macholan and independent researcher Emily Roseman in August 2019. Macholan provided data on locations (including zip code level data) of NPR member stations around the country. We layered this data set along with locations of INN (Institute for Nonprofit News) and LION (Local Independent Online News) members by city/state level data. In sum, this map provides a look at the more or less crowded geographic areas for high-quality, local digital news and broadcast news in the United States. This map should be seen as a snapshot in time and will not be updated regularly.

Webinar about study’s findings

Dr. Elizabeth Hansen reviews major findings from the Public Media Mergers Project study here, in a webinar during PMVG’s CEO summit in September 2020.