Building on the success of the growing Urban Alternative public radio format in cities from Denver to Milwaukee, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) is supporting the expansion of the locally customized format, which uses Hip-Hop, R&B, and Dance genres to connect with young multicultural audiences.

CPB President & CEO Pat Harrison announced a request for proposals (RFP) from public radio stations wanting to launch the format during taped remarks shared during the Public Radio Content Conference in New Orleans. “With CPB support, the Urban Alternative format has attracted a younger, more diverse audience to public radio,” Harrison said. “CPB is now pleased to support the expansion of this format, in which the stations will be trusted partners with these audiences, guided by their music and information needs and through engagement and events.”

CPB will select three public radio stations to receive grants of up to $500,000 and work with a consultant over a 30-month period to conduct market research and develop strategies for digital and community engagement, fundraising, and development. The request for proposals is available at; the deadline for submission is 5pm ET on October 28.

CPB support for research and development in 2015 enabled Chicago Public Media to transform its Vocalo online music service into Chicago’s Urban Alternative. With CPB support, the Urban Alternative format has been customized by Rocky Mountain Public Media as 104.7 The DROP/DenverKTSU (The Vibe)/HoustonWNSB (Hot 91)/Norfolk, VA; Radio Milwaukee’s HYFIN; and Minnesota Public Radio’s Carbon Sound. The latest Urban Alt outlet belongs to WJSU/Jackson, MS, which launched The Sipp last Saturday.