PBS selects three stations as Regional Digital Centers of Innovation

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

PBS Digital Studios has announced the three member stations selected as Regional Digital Centers of Innovation, according to a press release.

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, 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 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 and inclusion, 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 in a statement. “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 multiplatform 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.