PBS Digital Studios Selects Houston PBS, Rocky Mountain PBS and PBS North Carolina as Its Regional Digital Centers of Innovation
Each Regional Center Will Partner with Up to Three Additional PBS Stations to Oversee the Development of Up to 15 New Digital Series Over the Next Two Years, Focusing on Diverse Voices and Stories
January 26, 2022
ARLINGTON, VA; January 26, 2022 – Today, PBS Digital Studios announced the three member stations selected as Regional Digital Centers of Innovation. Over the next two years, Houston Public Media (KUHT), Rocky Mountain PBS (RMPBS), and PBS North Carolina (PBS NC) will develop original digital series in partnership with PBS Digital Studios. Made possible by a $3 million grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the three stations will deepen their digital production capacity, source creators and stories in each station's highly diverse regions, and foster fellow PBS member stations' digital fluency. The regional centers will also focus on content that elevates the voices of diverse content creators both in front of and behind the camera.
The three selected stations serve robust international, indigenous, and academic communities through creative local and national programming. Houston Public Media serves a rapidly changing market as a multi-station partnership. Rocky Mountain PBS, headquartered in Denver, serves many Native American and rural communities and PBS North Carolina, based in Research Triangle Park, serves a diverse market in collaboration with many academic communities. These new regional centers will add important voices and original content to PBS digital programming across the country.
Together, the centers will oversee the production of up to 15 new digital projects for PBS digital platforms over the next two years with subgrants to other member stations in their regions. The first shows will be rolled out across digital platforms including YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, and/or IGTV later this year. Each regional center will be led by a Digital Executive Producer who will foster and manage new partnerships with local, diverse digital content creators within each region. Additionally, PBS Digital Studios will bring on a Consultant for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, to support each station with content development, digital workshops and training to ensure that the content produced is authentic and inclusive of all audiences. This consultant will work closely with Cecilia Loving, Senior Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), and her team at PBS.
“We’re thrilled to partner with each of these three PBS member stations to expand our digital-first programming strategy and create an expanded pipeline of diverse talent and content,” said Sylvia Bugg, PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming. “As part of our ongoing commitment to elevating more diverse voices, these regional centers of innovation are a key part of our multiplatform content strategy and we look forward to delivering new stories that will educate, inform, and inspire all Americans.”
“CPB is proud to support PBS Digital Studios and the Regional Centers of Innovation, which leverage public media’s unique role in American communities,” said Kathryn Washington, CPB Senior Vice President, Television Content. “Public television stations serve a vital role in ensuring that a wide range of voices are heard and diverse perspectives are presented. They are the key to finding authentic regional stories and reaching new audiences through multi-platform storytelling.”
PBS Digital Studios creates fresh, insightful and responsive content for multi-platform audiences from diverse backgrounds. Content supported by this grant will primarily be available on PBS.org, the PBS Video app and the PBS Digital Studios YouTube themed channels, with a few programs additionally available on Facebook, TikTok and IGTV.
About PBS Digital Studios
PBS Digital Studios produces original, digital programming for YouTube and Facebook, designed to engage, enlighten, and entertain online audiences. The PBS Digital Studios network has more than 29 million subscribers, generating an average of 50 million views a month and has acquired more than three billion lifetime views. Currently, the Studio has 20 original series streaming online, including eight series from PBS member stations. Series include the Webby Award-winning IT’S OKAY TO BE SMART, SOUND FIELD and CRASH COURSE, the Daytime Emmy-award winning PRIDELAND, as well as popular series such as TWO CENTS, EONS and PBS SPACE TIME.
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’ premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Communications on Twitter.
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 1,500 locally managed 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. For more information, visit www.cpb.org and follow us on Twitter @CPBmedia, Facebook, LinkedIn, and subscribe for other updates.