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WVPB Receives USDA Grant to Rebuild Beckley Television Studio

John Hale

West Virginia Public Broadcasting has been awarded a $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to rebuild its television studio in Beckley and create a mobile studio as well.

“This will allow us to do a much better job telling the story of southern West Virginia,” said Scott Finn, executive director of West Virginia Public Broadcasting (WVPB). “We’re excited to be able to bring the Beckley studio back to life.”

The studio was decommissioned more than a decade ago, in part because WVPB did not have the funds to change the facility from analog to digital production. The USDA grant will pay for cameras, editors, and control equipment to bring the studio back to full production capability.

The grant also will assist in the production in Beckley of the children's television show "Abracadabra." The show combines magic and ventriloquism with nutrition, health, exercise and safety.  The show is hosted and produced by Dr. Michael Adelman, president of the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine.

The grant also includes money for a new mobile studio, which will allow WVPB to create video productions in other parts of West Virginia.

This is the second year in a row WVPB has received a Digital Transition Public Television Grant from the USDA. Last year, the station received $750,000 to replace all equipment in its main Charleston studio and record and transmit local programs in high definition.

U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), announced the grant award Wednesday.

“Public broadcasting has proven an invaluable tool for bettering our lives and broadening our minds,” Rahall said. “I was delighted to support this funding to help this remarkable resource reach more children and families in West Virginia.”

Several organizations supported the project, including the Beckley Area Foundation, the City of Beckley, the Hinton Area Foundation, the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, and Pinecrest Development Corporation.

“We just want to thank the people of southern West Virginia for supporting this project,” Finn said. “This studio belongs to all the people of the state, and will be a resource for education for years to come.”

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