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WYBE Philly's Weird Business Model

Interesting story in the PhiladelphiaInquirer about the tiny non-profit station WYBE airing five-minute shorts that would-be producers pay to have on the air. The station charges a yearly fee ranging from $75 for individuals and $1,000 for corporations to help them get their ideas to air.

"It’s short-form programming, in which we let the community come to us and let them and viewers tell us what they want," says Howard Blumenthal, the station’s chief executive.

Blumenthal alternately refers to the programming as "Sesame Street for grown-ups" and the early days of MTV. He stresses that it is not infomercials, and that the station can kibosh any content–say, racist propaganda–they feel is inappropriate.

You can see the new lineup at It’s "a grab-bag of museum-exhibit tours and Christian rappers, tattooed performance artists, and a green-building primer by local corporate landlord Liberty Property Trust."