Vermont Public What?

I was listening to VPR, Vermont Public radio, today when they announced that their new name was …. Vermont Public.

Vermont Public what?  Well, they’ve merged TV and radio. “Vermont Public probably strikes you as both familiar, and different – and that’s the idea. Our name has evolved to reflect who we are, and where we’re going. We’re still everything you count on – and we can do more together, and welcome more people into the fold,” says their announcement.

It strikes me as kinda stupid sounding. No mention of the main thing they do… media broadcasts and streams over radio, TV, cable and internet. No mention of news or information. It doesn’t say anything about who they are or where they are going. It seems more like the forgot to finish the naming process.

How did this naming session go? Someone must have said we could it Vermont Public Radio and Television. Then someone mentioned the internet and podcasts. Then they realized they can’t just list everything.  Instead of coming up with a word that encompasses everything they do, they just left it at Vermont Public. And that means confusion.

“Hey, call Vermont Public!”

VT Public Utilities?


Vermont Public Health?


Ahh, Vermont Public Interest Research Group.


You mean the VT Public Transportation Association?

“No! Vermont Public!”

VT Public Housing Agency? Public Works? Public Service Board?

Part of the problem is that it comes across as a noun, not an adjective. If they had reversed it and called themselves Public Vermont, it would make more sense, using the adjectival definition of “of or concerning the people as a whole: public concern/public affairs.”

Using it as noun changes the definition to the “people in general,”  and not necessarily what is concerning them.

It also sounds like it is missing that third word. “You are listening to/watching Vermont Public” just sounds weird, and a bit controlling.

Imagine “National Public Radio” changing their name to “National Public.” A bit arrogant, eh?

It’s not a big deal, but I think this rebranding is stupid. I’ll continue to call it Vermont Public Radio.

Comments | 12

  • Ridiculous

    …but thanks for noticing. BTW, Springfield (Mass.) PBS has also changed name – to NEPM (New England Public Media). Clearer than Vermont Public new moniker, but obfuscation reigns.

  • Public Stupidity

    I grow so weary of this world. Every day is worse in different ways. I will continue to call them all the National Petroleum Media.

  • Vermont Public Media

    seems like a logical, reasonably self-describing moniker.

  • Vermont Pubic

    No, that variant doesn’t work, either. Often these “re-branding” incidents, like new logos, are cooked up by hired consultants; hope VPR didn’t actually spend $ coming up with this.

  • Commercialized Non-Commercial Media

    It’s just like the packaging for shampoo and other sundries, you may have noticed. They say “lemon freshened” and non-this and low-that and extra-satinizing, and it doesn’t say WHAT.

    I complained to Scott Finn VPR president at his presentation October 4 2018.
    Many people in the audience voiced support for my question. He discussed the matter after the meeting with three or four other listeners and me, and could only say that commercials were necessary to maintain the amount of programming . Definitely a choice of quantity over quality.
    (at 31:26 in this video link

    The network thinks its poop don’t stink because it is maybe more truthful than Trump, but THIS is not truth:

    “Love! It’s what makes a Subaru a Subaru”
    A chair that promotes “Active Sitting”
    “Coffee Roasted for Friends”

    The basic message is not Truth. It’s Money
    11/8 1:35 Higher Ground person says “We’ve had great success advertising with VPR.”.
    2/22/2018 VPR “sponsor” says ~~ “Every time our COMMERCIAL ran, we saw a jump in sales ”

    The programs themselves are info-mercials and commercials
    12/21,2017 Fresh Air segment about best TV shows (on Commercial TV)
    9/1/2017 On Point entire program about a commercial TV program “Game of Thrones”

    NPR promotes climate denial
    1:32 PM 12/19/2020
    Marketplace special tech edition NPR How we survive adapting to climate change, Microsoft guy drooling on and on about the great business opportunity, another guest talking about the new fireproof imitation logs for log cabins in forests and BTW poor people etc are disproportionately affected, so here’s a tour of a $4M home with swimming pool and solar this and that, and “glass walls so you don’t have to spend a lot of money on paintings” !!!!?

    There are many many more examples every day. Let’s do something about it !

  • Around election time...

    “Tune in for the VP debates!”

    Oh good, I want to hear the vice-presidential candidates go at it.

  • grammar

    Is the word, “Public” in “Vermont Public,” a noun; or is it an adjective?

  • Just Public

    Listening today again.. I’m finding this new name extra annoying. : ) It’s now distracting when they say “This is VT Public.” I stop listening and start thinking about the dumb name.

    Today it made me think they should drop the “Vermont” part of it and just be known as “Public”… I mean, why have any descriptive words weigh you down? If we all know they do radio, TV, digital and they can drop that half, we also know we’re listening in Vermont. It’s unnecessary clutter in our busy world.

    (And we haven’t even begun to discuss the new logo… heh.)

  • WE are the "Vemont Public"!

    I have switched to NHPR. I can’t listen to VPR any longer. I cringe and have to stop myself from screaming every time I hear “Vermont Public”. I called them and left a recorded message, and though it is likely a futile gesture, at least it might annoy them. I urge everyone who feels similarily, to make their opinion known!

  • American Public Media

    I guess American Public Media should change its name to, “American Public.”

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