A Leap Forward for Local Journalism, Community Education and Civic Engagement in Central Pennsylvania
For nearly 158 years and four generations, the Steinman family of Lancaster has owned and operated what today is LNP | LancasterOnline, Lancaster County’s top source of news and information.
Founded by educators in 1963, WITF has been an essential part of the civic, educational and cultural fabric of the Central Pennsylvania region for 60 years.
Now LNP and WITF — two vibrant, local institutions — are marking a new era and a huge leap forward in how they serve all who call Central Pennsylvania home.
Steinman Communications, which is owned by the Steinman family, has gifted LNP to WITF as a capstone to the family’s two centuries of community service and philanthropy.
Together, WITF and LNP are creating a new mission-driven and sustainable model for local news, community education and civic engagement in the region. Together they will:
- Collaboratively expand and diversify local news media platforms, educational programs and forums for civic engagement
- Build on local journalism that shines a light on government decision-making, serves as a check on public spending and holds elected leaders accountable
- Deliver local news in ways that inform and inspire the communities they serve
- Fill the void in local journalism that has resulted as other media organizations retrench or close
- Expand equitable access to proven, effective education programs for learners regionally and statewide
WITF and LNP will leverage each other’s strengths to achieve their educational mission through increased early childhood education, STEM education, media literacy, and civic engagement programs. Additionally, with seed funding from The Steinman Foundation, WITF has established The Steinman Institute for Civic Engagement. The Steinman Institute will concentrate on building stronger communities by researching, developing and advancing innovations in the areas of local news consumption and delivery, media literacy, and ways in which citizens participate in civic life.
The combined WITF + LNP enterprise remains 100% locally owned and operated and serves almost three million people in 19 counties in Central Pennsylvania.
With our shared commitment to local journalism, community education and civic engagement, we are excited for you to discover all the ways we will enrich more lives — together.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The transfer of LNP to WITF is a gift to all of us who call Central Pennsylvania home. Learn more about the partnership between our two organizations.
Will the combined organization assume a new name?
WITF and LNP will continue to use their respective identities. There are currently no plans to rebrand under a single name.
Will LNP | LancasterOnline’s focus remain on Lancaster County?
Yes, LNP | LancasterOnline are and plan to remain Lancaster County’s top sources for local news and information. LNP | LancasterOnline will maintain its focus on Lancaster County.
Will LNP continue to publish the daily print edition?
Yes, the print edition of LNP will continue to be published daily.
Will owning a newspaper change WITF’s focus or direction?
No. WITF and LNP are each in a strong position to grow the value they bring to local communities. LNP is an asset to Lancaster County and, as part of WITF, will continue to be an asset as a top source of local news and information in the region.
Will any WITF programs or services be eliminated as a result of this partnership?
There are no plans to reduce WITF programs or services. Rather, WITF’s and LNP’s partnership will expand and diversify local news platforms, education programs and forums for civic engagement. These include:
- WITF public radio with regional news and NPR news and programming
- WITF public television with locally produced and PBS programming for all ages
- The Morning Agenda podcast (a Central Pennsylvania news roundup)
- The Spark, a radio program that strives to foster deeper understanding of important topics
- Topical journalism on issues including politics, climate, energy and healthcare
- Locally produced productions such as Transforming Health and Toward Racial Justice
- LNP, Lancaster County’s daily newspaper
- LancasterOnline, the number one news site in Lancaster County
- The Caucus (a state government accountability journalism publication)
- The Lititz Record-Express (serving Lititz and Manheim)
- The Ephrata Review (serving Ephrata and Cocalico)
- WITF.org featuring news, WITF productions and live streams
- Mosaic, WITF’s hub for all things arts, culture and lifestyle
- WITFK PBS Kids, providing audiences including underrepresented communities with access to children’s programming over the air, online and via the PBS Kids app
- Educational programs for the classroom and for the community including Ready Set Explore, Explore in the Classroom and the Central PA Spelling Bee
- Events that create opportunities for community engagement including The Spark Travels, News & Brews and PBS program preview screenings
Will LNP advertisers and WITF underwriters have access to combined marketing opportunities?
Yes, creating combined marketing opportunities for underwriters and advertisers to reach both LNP and WITF audiences will be explored in the future.
Will this transaction impact WITF’s public media status?
No. WITF will continue to be a public media organization committed to being an essential part of the civic, educational and cultural fabric of Central Pennsylvania.
Will this impact the make-up of WITF’s or LNP’s board of directors?
WITF and LNP will continue to each have boards, but with a degree of overlapping representation to ensure alignment with a combined vision and enterprise-wide goals.
Who leads the combined organization?
Ron Hetrick, WITF president and CEO, leads the combined organization. Robert Krasne, chairman and CEO of Steinman Communications, is chair of the board of managers for The Steinman Institute for Civic Engagement.
Will this transaction result in job cuts?
No. On the contrary, as a single enterprise, WITF and LNP will build on their vibrant organizations to strengthen local news, community education and civic engagement in our region.
Is LNP still its own company?
Steinman Communications has converted LNP to a Pennsylvania Benefit Corporation and has gifted LNP to WITF. A benefit corporation is a type of for-profit entity that is organized to responsibly create public benefit in addition to its business purpose. LNP is now a subsidiary of WITF.
What is The Steinman Institute for Civic Engagement?
With seed funding from The Steinman Foundation, WITF has established The Steinman Institute for Civic Engagement to build stronger communities by researching, developing and advancing innovations in the areas of local news consumption and delivery, media literacy, and ways in which citizens participate in civic life.
Ways You Can Support
Donate to WITF
Show your support for WITF by making a one-time gift, or become a monthly donor to support quality local journalism in Central Pennsylvania.
Become a WITF Sponsor
WITF will help your business or organization reach a wide audience of consumers from across Central Pennsylvania and beyond.
Stay connected to Lancaster County
Quality, independent, local journalism plays an important role in our community. We appreciate your support.
Support the Lancaster County Local Journalism Fund
Our mission is to support, protect and expand local journalism in and for Lancaster County by promoting investigative and public interest journalism and media literacy.