Minneapolis-based Public Radio International will merge with PRX, a Boston audio technology company, the firms said Wednesday.

The combined organization will reach an audience of 28.5 million people each month in broadcast and online, and have 56 million monthly podcast downloads.

Kerri Hoffman, CEO of PRX, will become chief executive of the new organization. Alisa Miller, chief executive of PRI, will be executive chair of the new organization's board of directors during its first year.

"We believe strong media is anchored in trusted journalism, strengthened by new voices and amplified by innovative technology," Hoffman said in a statement. "This merger intensifies our focus on helping creative producers and institutions build audience and grow revenue."

Miller said PRI sought out PRX for the merger, and the two firms said that Boston's WGBH has committed $10 million to the new enterprise. The money will be spent on new content, including improvements to PRI's "The World," the creation of an audio production studio, and to open new PRX Podcast Garages (community podcast studios) beyond the flagship Boston location.

"Our field — for all its excellence and success, and the passion of its core constituencies — must respond to a profoundly changing marketplace to meet the heightened needs of the public," Miller said. "By approaching PRX, PRI opened the door to the promise of joining together. Working with our stations, producers and partners, we can ensure that public media is a vibrant source of inspiration, fact, and empathy, especially in these complex times."

The new company will be an independent organization and will report to a board of directors that combines the PRI and PRX boards. WGBH chief executive Jon Abbott will have a board seat.

WGBH and PRI have coproduced content, including PRI's "The World," for two decades. WGBH has partnered with PRX to expand its work in podcasting.

Adam Belz • 612-673-4405