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WKU public media stations part of new Ohio River Network

Corporation for Public Broadcasting awards $445,000 grant to establish regional journalism collaboration in 3 states

Seven public media stations in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia, led by Louisville Public Media, have been awarded a $445,000 grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to establish an Ohio River regional journalism collaboration.

PrintThe Ohio River Network will produce hard-hitting, high-quality multimedia journalism that examines the region’s economy, energy, environment, agriculture, infrastructure, and health. The CPB grant will support the hiring of eight journalists at the seven partner media outlets for two years; with station support continuing in outlying years.

“CPB is pleased to support this historic collaboration among public media stations in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia,” said Bruce Theriault, CPB senior vice president, journalism and radio. “By working together, these stations can ensure that important stories from this underreported area are told locally, regionally and nationally. The sum is indeed greater than the parts.”

Louisville Public Media will lead the news operation and house the project’s managing editor and data journalist. Partner radio and television stations are WEKU in Richmond and Lexington, (radio); WKU in Bowling Green, (radio and TV); WMMT/Appalshop in Whitesburg, (radio and multimedia); WKMS in Murray, (radio); West Virginia Public Broadcasting (radio and TV); and WOUB in Athens, Ohio, (radio and TV).

“Enhanced coverage of this type is essential for the changing media landscape,” said David Brinkley, Director of Public Broadcasting at WKU. “This collective effort will lead to content that will enhance the lives of our audiences and strengthen our understanding of how this region contributes to a global economy.”

“I am convinced that collaborations such as this are the future of journalism,” said Donovan Reynolds, President and General Manager, Louisville Public Media. “Working together, we can produce and sustain the quality journalism that is required to identify the serious issues we have in common and the opportunities to build a better future for everyone in our region.”

The group will produce journalism for partner stations and collaborate with national programs, including PBS NewsHour, Frontline, Marketplace, Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and other public media outlets such as WFPL’s Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. The collaboration will produce daily reporting, investigations, long-form narrative pieces, and documentaries.

About the Corporation for Public Broadcasting: The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

About WKU Public Broadcasting: WKU operates the only joint licensee in Kentucky. WKU PBS is beginning year 26 of operation while WKU Public Radio is celebrating 35 years of continuous service. WKU PBS provides a full range of programs including locally produced informational, public affairs, college sports programming, documentaries, music and children’s programs. The station houses a premiere television production facility, producing high-quality program content for this entire region. WKU Public Radio serves 1.3 million across Kentucky, southern Indiana and northern Tennessee. It also has a strong online presence, including live streaming and extensive audio archives. Its award-winning news staff is highly regarded for the range and depth of their work.

About Louisville Public Media: Louisville Public Media (LPM) is a not-for-profit, member-supported corporation serving our community with three distinct public radio stations and an investigative unit: WFPL 89.3 FM provides local, national and international news, public affairs and cultural programming; Classical 90.5 WUOL is our city’s only classical music and fine arts radio station; 91.9 WFPK showcases independent, alternative music and an array of musical genres; and WFPL’s Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting (KyCIR) shines the light of accountability on the people and institutions in power.

Contact: David Brinkley, (270) 745-6140

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