PBS Appalachia Virginia launching as first all-digital PBS member station

By NewscastStudio

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After a decade-long absence, public broadcasting is making a comeback in Southwest Virginia. PBS Appalachia Virginia is launching the nation’s first all-digital public television station dedicated to the region, promising to break new ground in local content and audience engagement.

The new venture is a unique collaboration between PBS Appalachia and Hard Rock International. They plan to construct a state-of-the-art television studio in the Hard Rock Bristol location, dedicating a 4,000-square-foot space to a glass-encased television studio, podcast studio, and adjacent control room.

This strategic location aims to ensure regional accessibility and high foot traffic, offering visitors a behind-the-scenes glimpse of television productions or a chance to enjoy local shows on a colossal virtual wall during non-production hours. The construction is set to commence over the next year, with the studio’s grand opening scheduled for July 2024.

As part of the region-focused mission, PBS Appalachia aims to provide content that encapsulates the area’s culture, heritage, and artistic talent. A commitment to local authenticity is at the core of this initiative, with the station’s producers from Southwest Virginia and are natively familiar with the culture.

To enrich its schedule, PBS Appalachia will debut with three locally produced series including “French Magnolia Cooks,” “Hometowns,” and “The Life of a Musician,” which provide unique explorations of the local culture, history, and artistry.

This rebirth of public broadcasting in the region has been made possible through the restoration of state support, marking a significant turnaround from 2013 when two transmitters operated by Blue Ridge PBS were shut down following the de-funding of public media in Virginia.

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