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PBS Appalachia Virginia Launches First All-Digital Public TV Station in Partnership with Hard Rock Bristol

BRISTOL, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES, June 9, 2023/ -- PBS Appalachia Virginia fulfills its promise by announcing the launch of the nation's first all-digital public television station dedicated to Southwest Virginia. Starting Saturday, June 10, viewers can watch the new station through local cable providers or enjoy live streaming via the website or the mobile app PBS Appalachia Virginia. Additionally, viewers around the world can access programs on-demand at or through the mobile app.

In partnership with Hard Rock International, PBS Appalachia plans to construct a state-of-the-art television studio in the Hard Rock Bristol location. The resort and casino is dedicating 4,000-square-feet of space to house a glass-encased television studio, podcast studio, and adjacent control room, allowing people to witness television productions in progress or enjoy local shows on a massive virtual wall during non-production hours. “Partnering with Hard Rock is a perfect fit for PBS Appalachia because we are both community-minded companies who want to help move the region forward," says Julie Newman, General Manager of PBS Appalachia, and former news anchor of WCYB-TV. "We are grateful for their partnership and support." The studio's strategic location will ensure regional access and high foot traffic.

“We work to improve lives, help communities and sustain the Earth, infusing the power of music into all we do. Ever since Hard Rock's founding, we have planted roots and thrived wherever we operate. We are proud to partner with PBS Appalachia, " says Allie Evangelista, President of Hard Rock Bristol. Construction will take place over the next year, with anticipated opening in July 2024.

The station's mission is to paint a clearer picture of Southwest Virginia, debunk stereotypes, and celebrate the forward progress of Central Appalachia, and share that authentic voice with the world via the PBS platform. "Our communities deserve a station that captures the culture, heritage, and artistic talent of our region," affirms Newman. "Our producers are from Southwest Virginia, they are natively familiar with our culture, and they are using cutting-edge equipment to produce Emmy winning content that speaks to the heart of Appalachia."

In addition to broadcasting the full PBS schedule, PBS Appalachia will debut with three local series. Episodes from all three programs were pre-released and have garnered a remarkable total of eight Emmy nominations from the esteemed National Capital Chapter, along with five Telly Awards and two VAB Awards.

Every Monday, viewers can tune in to "French Magnolia Cooks," a savory and inspirational exploration of Southwest Virginia. Prepared with warmth and humor, Chef Missy leads audiences on a culinary journey from hunt and farm to wine and table, shared with family and friends.

Thursdays belong to "Hometowns," an off-the-beaten-path expedition through Southwest Virginia communities. The show delivers personal stories, and an authentic look at life in a small town. Audiences are treated to an immersive experience, guided by those who know the land and her history.

On Saturdays, "The Life of a Musician" delivers a stripped-down, authentic acoustic interview and performance show featuring some of the nation's most talented guitarists. Hear unscripted one-on-one conversations, and gain insight into the musician's life through personal anecdotes and trade secrets.

The funding for PBS Appalachia has been made possible through the restoration of state support. Previously, Blue Ridge PBS operated two transmitters in Southwest Virginia, but it was challenging for viewers to access over-the-air signals due to the topography of the Appalachian Mountains. In 2013, following the de-funding of public media in Virginia, the decision was made to shut down these transmitters. However, under the leadership of VA State Sen. Todd Pillion (R) and VA Del. Israel O'Quinn (R), a budget amendment for Fiscal Year 2023 was passed to establish PBS Appalachia. The station would also like to extend gratitude to Delegate Will Morefield and the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission for their support in funding PBS Appalachia's endeavors over the past three years.

About Blue Ridge Public Television Inc.

Blue Ridge Public Television Inc. is the parent company of PBS Appalachia VA. As a trusted public broadcasting organization serving viewers across the nation, Blue Ridge Public TV Inc. is dedicated to delivering high-quality programming that educates, inspires, and entertains, fostering a well-informed society through the power of public media.

Madison VanDuyne, Director of Public Relations and Marketing
Blue Ridge Public Television Inc.
+1 (540) 983-1661

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