Discussing the Future of Core Publisher

Mar 23, 2018

This information was shared with Core Publisher station users in a webinar on Thursday, March 22. To review the webinar, click here.

Over the past two years, NPR has taken a long look at Core Publisher place in the upcoming Digital Network.

Through this analysis, we’ve identified that Core Publisher, while having served us well, has kept station sites from excelling in the changing digital landscape. Because of its monolithic, legacy technology, improvement and innovation on Core Publisher have proven difficult and costly. At the same time, NPR has invested significantly in NPR.org and their internal content management system.

Our goal through 2018 and into 2019 is to create a unified, flexible platform to support creation and presentation of content for both national and local public radio.

Over the next year, we will be introducing new, powerful content creation and web presentation tools. These will become available throughout 2018 and 2019 to all Core Publisher stations, with no need to migrate or change workflows. We will first introduce a new Story Editor to empower journalistic content to be shared across the system. Then, we will offer a new, flexible web experience for station sites that leverages NPR.org’s design, flexibility, and reach.


The Future Story Editor

Our digital livelihood relies on quality content that can be delivered across an ever-increasing number of platforms, from websites to smart speakers. Currently, the Core Publisher story creator (i.e., the Post Page) is hindering more than helping this initiative. In 2018, we will be introducing a Story Editor for all Core Publisher Stations that replaces the current Post Page admin in Core Publisher.  

The new Story Editor will allow:   

  • Additional editorial fields (e.g., teasers, corrections, alternative headlines) 
  • Copying and pasting from Microsoft Word, Google Docs, and other word processors 
  • Support for robust embeds and visuals from both NPR and third-party sources

Content archives will be maintained and automatically migrated for use in the new Story Editor and content management system.

The Future of Station Sites

For years, due to the disparate technology powering Core Publisher and NPR.org, station sites have had difficulty keeping up with the investments made on NPR.org. Starting later this year, we will be replacing Core Publisher’s site templates with a website framework built from NPR.org. These templates will allow for the same brand distinction as Core Publisher, with the added benefits of:

  • Improved page load speed  
  • Increased visibility in search and social media  
  • Greater lead generation and membership opportunities  
  • Enhanced user experience and opportunities for engagement


However, it is important to note that we are not planning to eliminate station web experiences or remove station presences from the web. While this has been a topic of discussion in the past, it is clear that station sites have a unique relationship with their audience and their market, and we plan to continue to support and foster that relationship.

As with the Story Editor, these will become available to all Core Publisher stations without the need for content or site migration.


Both of these initiatives provide a great opportunity for stations and NPR to work off the same systems. With these pivotal transformations, we’ll be able to move as a singular public radio system in an ever-changing digital environment and share in both successes and learnings.

Over the next couple of months, we’ll be asking Core Publisher stations to join working groups and betas of the new system. Please keep a lookout for more communication and invitations!