ideastream community report

ideastream community report 2019
ideastream community report 2019 vision

ideastream is indispensable and highly valued for its unique ability to strengthen our community.

ideastream community report 2019 mission

ideastream is a trusted and dynamic multimedia source for illuminating the world around us.

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ideatream community report kevin martin julie raskind president ceo board chair

At ideastream, we put you, our user, in the center of everything we do. Our focus is to make media that matters easy for you to find, access and engage with.

Over the past year, we embarked upon our 2019–2021 Strategic Plan and began to align ideastream’s strengths and assets to help us better serve our community. As the media landscape continues to change and local news organizations fragment, we started planning for a statewide public radio and digital news collaborative to address a growing community need for strong, independent local journalism.

We launched a public media workforce collaborative to increase staff diversity, foster career advancement opportunities and share best practices among regional public media stations. We experimented with digital storytelling and offered new ways for users to engage with our content through social media, smart speakers, WVIZ/PBS Passport, NPR One and YouTube TV. We also fostered civic dialogue and informed the community by reporting local stories, sharing trusted news, providing essential community services and giving a voice to Northeast Ohioans.

As ideastream continues to build a foundation to preserve our service for generations to come, we remain committed to collaboration, inclusion, innovation, excellence and stewardship. All of this is possible thanks to generous contributions from our members and supporters. On behalf of ideastream’s staff and board, thank you.

kevin martin president ceo ideastream community report

Kevin E. Martin, President and CEO

julie adler raskind board chair ideastream community report

Julie Adler Raskind, Board Chair


ideastream shared stories about Northeast Ohio’s rich cultural assets and remarkable artists.


Through Making Art Work, a new long-form digital series, ideastream examined how local artists support themselves.

“I am so blessed that you chose me. I am looking forward to hearing how others make their art work.
Miranda Pitrone, Featured Artist
ideastream community report

Website and social media users spent an average of 8 to 10 times longer with this digital content verses with traditional content.

The second season of Making It, a digital-first series, profiled local entrepreneurs following their dreams while earning a living. One segment featured Clevelanders Candace Maiden and Kurtis Williams, Sr. serving vegan comfort food with their company, Squash the Beef Catering.

ideastream community report

Website and social media users viewed over 1,000 hours of locally produced Making It content.


ideastream hosted 22 livestreamed concerts on and Facebook Live. During the Baldwin Wallace University Men’s Chorus Concert, Applause Performances and First Fridays classical performance series, users engaged with musicians by commenting, sharing and reacting in real-time on Facebook. One of the most-viewed concerts was fiddler and step dancer April Verch.

"I could listen and watch forever. Terrific job!"
George M., Facebook User
ideastream annual report

The top four livestreamed concert performances have been viewed for an equivalent of 20 days, 16 hours and 24 minutes across and social media.


The Cleveland Orchestra and ideastream are committed to collaborating on projects that can transform lives through the power of music, including weekly radio broadcasts on WCLV 104.9, co-producing nationally distributed television specials and streaming community concerts online.

  • The Cleveland Orchestra, ideastream and WKSU presented Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, NPR’s weekly quiz program, live at Blossom Music Center. Hosts Peter Sagal and Bill Kurtis led a panel of comedians, writers, listener contestants and celebrity guests through a rollicking review of the news.
  • An advance screening of Great Performances: The Cleveland Orchestra Centennial Celebration, a nationally televised special co-produced by THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, ideastream, The Cleveland Orchestra and Clasart Classic, was hosted for fans at the Idea Center.
  • Displays of live concert footage were produced through ideastream’s partnership with the Orchestra. The footage, shown on large screens installed near the stage of Blossom Music Center, allowed audiences to clearly see performances from all seating in the venue.
ideastream annual report

Content created through the partnership reached over 11,470 digital users, including users from 61 countries.



ideastream informed local audiences and sparked engaging community discussions.

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The first year of Homes, a two-year reporting project, explored the past, present and future of Cleveland’s Woodhill Homes, one of the oldest public housing developments in the nation. This series told the stories of the neighborhood and its people, ensuring that residents’ views were accounted for as Woodhill Homes undergoes a planned rebuild starting in 2021.

“I feel great. I finally get to talk to somebody about my experience.”
Featured Woodhill Homes Resident
ideastream annual report

Seven multimedia stories were produced in the first year of this project. Digital stories received 6,885 pageviews from nearly 5,000 users.

Stories from Cleveland, a multimedia content series, was produced to celebrate the Cleveland Public Library’s 150th anniversary. ideastream collected the stories of everyday Clevelanders to spotlight the diversity, passions and hopes of those who call the city home.

"I love how real this interview is."
Audience Member
ideastream community report

Two four-minute videos, featuring Bud Koscinski and Ted Carter, were watched by web and YouTube viewers for a combined total of over seven and a half hours.


As The City Club of Cleveland’s primary media partner, ideastream extended its live broadcasts of the City Club Forum from 30 minutes to one hour.

“Good move... Provides more time for listeners to hear important community discussions.”
Scott Suttell, Managing Editor of Crain’s Cleveland Business
ideastream annual report

City Club Forum web content generated 42,017 pageviews and 13,490 video views from 26,787 users.


The Sound of Ideas, a weekday radio program on 90.3 WCPN, and The Sound of Ideas Community Tour, an event and livestream series, delivered a comprehensive analysis of news and offered in-depth explorations of critical community issues.

  • The Twitter account for The Sound of Ideas generated over 215,000 impressions and received 1,730 engagements from users.
  • Facebook Live coverage of the 2019 election reached over 8,200 users.
  • A total of 139,594 listeners consumed over 253,228 hours of livestreamed content from The Sound of Ideas.
“Thank you for tonight’s The Sound of Ideas Community Tour livestream. We hung onto every word from home.”
Livestream Viewer
ideastream annual report

ideastream pioneered a new in-depth, long-form digital format to present the deeply reported investigations and features of our journalists in all of their detail and multimedia richness.

The top performing long-form story, The Million-Dollar Dump: How the Operators of an East Cleveland Dump Collected Millions in Public Money, received over 6,280 pageviews from over 4,800 users.

The long-form digital stories received a total of 21,341 pageviews from 16,716 users.


ideastream provided essential programs and services to children, families and teachers.


NewsDepth, ideastream’s instructional multiple media series, completed its 49th season. The program presented current events to children in an easy-to-understand format and supported Ohio’s Learning Standards. NewsDepth provided opportunities for children to interact directly with fair, balanced and entertaining topics by submitting letters and questions and participating in weekly online polls. The program was broadcast statewide on PBS member stations and made available to stream on-demand at

“The content helps my students experience the world. These experiences will help them make connections when they are reading.”
Rosamaria Belmonte, Central Middle School Teacher
ideastream annual report

NewsDepth’s 49th season received 36.4% more web traffic than the previous season.

During the 2018-2019 school year, NewsDepth received 17,302 responses to weekly online poll questions and over 8,670 letters and emails from students and teachers.

Teachers reported over 15,930 students viewed NewsDepth in their classrooms.


ideastream co-sponsored Be My Neighbor Day, a family-friendly event held at the main branch of Cleveland Public Library that was all about being a caring neighbor.

"This event was awesome! I wouldn't change a thing. It was beautiful for the kids."
Parent Attendee
ideastream annual report

The event included activities from 24 community organizations and was attended by 425 caregivers and children.


ideastream, considered the state’s “largest classroom,” delivered more than 65 hours of PBS KIDS programming weekly on WVIZ/PBS, as well as managed a learning consortium of nine area school districts, all of which serve predominately minority and low-income students.

“ideastream’s wide-range of teacher workshops has helped me become a better teacher.”
Northeast Ohio Elementary School Teacher
ideastream annual report
  • ideastream provided enhanced learning opportunities at over 620 events and activities that reached 460,114 students and over 138,000 educators.
  • ideastream facilitated over 100 teacher workshops serving more than 2,000 Northeast Ohio teachers.
  • ideastream conducted over 10 parent outreach workshops serving nearly 200 parents in the Greater Cleveland Area.
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ideastream covered government news and legislative issues from various perspectives.

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Speak the Unspoken, a digital-first initiative, explored trauma in the African American community. The series featured local women and one couple sharing stories of losing a child due to gun violence or infant mortality.

A local nurse practitioner reported that the series came up during a patient visit. The patient said the series helped her understand and process the loss of her infant.

"These stories make a difference in so many lives!"
Trina Smith, Featured Guest
ideastream annual report

Speak the Unspoken reached 16,714 web and social media users.

Kids & Asthma, a YouTube series, included animated segments to explain what happens to the body during an asthma attack and explored why certain Cleveland neighborhoods are hot spots for pediatric asthma.

“Not only does it explain asthma symptoms, triggers and medicine, it also gives a voice to children and families who suffer from asthma.” 
Tif Huber, Ohio Department of Health's Asthma Program Manager
ideastream annual report

The Ohio Department of Health and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District used videos from the series for training and parent engagement events.


From Risk to Resilience: Understanding and Supporting Local Teens was an event with the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine that featured a panel discussion with representatives from advocacy groups, neighborhood organizations and the research community. The event was taped and later broadcast on WVIZ/PBS and 90.3 WCPN.

Approximately 200 people attended the live taping with 81.2% of the audience rating the event as valuable and 89.7% saying that it increased their awareness about certain issues.


Cuyahoga River Comeback, a special multimedia series, explored various issues related to the health and conservation of the Cuyahoga River 50 years after the notorious fire in 1969. The series culminated with a trip down the river aboard Cleveland’s largest sightseeing vessel, the Goodtime III, for a community discussion at The Sound of Ideas Community Tour: Cuyahoga River 50 Years After the Fire.

Content created for the series received 6,900 pageviews and 95 video views from 4,960 users.

ideastream annual report

The Headwaters: Fighting to Keep the Upper Cuyahoga River Pristine was ideastream’s first feature presented in an in-depth, long-form digital format. The immersive story explored conservation efforts for the river.

It reached 325 unique users who spent on average of 12 minutes interacting with the story online. The piece was shared on Reddit with many users commenting on the piece.

"Isn't ideastream the best?"

"It seems to be the go-to for local news!"
Reddit Users
ideastream annual report

800 Instagram users engaged in an interactive quiz about the Cuyahoga River and a virtual Cuyahoga River Walk.


ideastream led coverage of government news and legislative uses affecting Ohio.


Through the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Graduate: Getting to Work initiative, ideastream led a statewide collaborative with WOSU Public Media in Columbus and CET in Cincinnati to help advance education and career readiness. The collaborative, a first of its kind in public media, assessed workforce challenges and opportunities, and produced content focused on the essential skills needed for students and workers to succeed in the job markets of today and tomorrow.

A total of over 355 hours, or about 15 days, of American Graduate: Getting to Work related content was consumed by YouTube viewers

ideastream annual report

The statewide collaborative continued with The Career Path Less Taken. This original documentary focused on career opportunities in the skilled labor force and addressed the looming skills gap affecting young job seekers and Ohio industries. It challenged traditional notions of success by demonstrating that there are many pathways to skilled jobs that do not require a four-year college degree.

The Career Path Less Taken documentary and companion video content exceeded 16,000 views across web and social media platforms. 


The Career Path Less Taken Screening & Family Fun Night brought together community members for an advance screening of the documentary.

"This documentary is a fantastic opportunity for Ohio students and their families to gain a better understanding of career-technical education and its many benefits."
Paulo DeMaria, Ohio's Superintendent of Public Instruction
ideastream annual report

The premiere also included a statewide broadcast, special screenings at many local school districts and a companion digital toolkit and discussion guide to encourage viewing in community and school settings.


The State of Ohio is a weekly news program spotlighting the latest happenings at the Statehouse, in the Governor’s office, at the Ohio Supreme Court and throughout the Buckeye State. A strong line-up of The State of Ohio shows, broadcast Sundays on WVIZ/PBS, kicked off the year with the swearing-in of Mike DeWine, Ohio’s 70th governor. Other episodes explored the new state budget and the tragic shooting in Dayton which brought to light the effect mass shootings have on efforts to strengthen gun laws.

ideastream annual report

The State of Ohio web content generated over 10,750 pageviews from over 4,000 users via and

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ideastream career path less taken



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