Caitlin Tan, Mason Adams Named New Co-Hosts Of Inside Appalachia
Two familiar voices will bring us Inside Appalachia beginning this month.
Caitlin Tan and Mason Adams will be sharing hosting duties for West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s award-winning show that shines a light on all things Appalachian.
News Director Andrea Billups said both Caitlin and Mason bring divergent but connected life and work experiences to their new roles as co-hosts.
"Caitlin was raised in a small town in the mountains, but in Wyoming. Mason comes from a small town in Virginia, but they connect on their desire to open the door and give dignity to the lives, traditions and people who call this region home," Billups said. "I'm hopeful our listeners and fans of this show will fall in love with their fresh voices and perspectives. They both care deeply about their work and the connections they have forged here — and I know their heartfelt investment in this program is going to shine through."
Caitlin Tan hails from a rural mountain town in western Wyoming where she grew up ski racing, showing horses in 4-H and moving cows in the high mountain deserts. It was there she discovered her love for journalism as an intern for the local newspaper. She graduated from the University of Wyoming with a B.A. in journalism. She has worked for Wyoming Public Media and spent a summer as a fisheries reporter in Bristol Bay, Alaska, the international sockeye salmon capital, working for KDLG, the local NPR-affiliate station. She was a solo correspondent based in Naknek, a Native village of 500 people. She also served as a news assistant for NPR’s All Things Considered in Washington, D.C., before joining the WVPB team as our Folkways reporter where she works every day to get a new generation engaged with Appalachian folklife and culture.
"To me, the people and the landscape of Appalachia are one-of-a-kind. They’ve both seen hardship but are incredibly strong and willing to persevere," Tan said. "Whether it’s listening to folks share with me their stories and family traditions or exploring the mountains and endless trails of Appalachia, I’m incredibly moved and honored to be a small part of it all."
Mason Adams grew up near the Virginia/West Virginia border in Clifton Forge, Virginia. He joined the WVPB team as a part of its first Inside Appalachia Folkways Reporting Corps and has brought listeners stories about a regional "dinosaur kingdom" and restoring vintage vehicles. He has a degree in wildlife biology from the University of Rhode Island, but after a couple of years working out west, he became a journalist and moved back to Appalachia in 2001. Since then, he’s covered mountain communities and the issues affecting them. He's written for the Enterprise Mountaineer in western North Carolina and the Roanoke Times in western Virginia before going freelance in 2012. His work has appeared in Southerly, Daily Yonder, 100 Days in Appalachia, Mother Jones, Huffington Post and elsewhere.
"I’ve spent countless hours listening to Inside Appalachia while doing farm chores over the last several years," Adams said. "I love how the show captures such a broad spectrum of stories from people across the region, while emphasizing our shared community by putting a regional frame around them. As a reporter who’s covered people in Appalachia for nearly two decades, I look forward to building on that powerful legacy and engaging with the show’s listeners."
The transition to the new team will begin with the Nov. 22 episode, which will feature both hosts. Thereafter, they will take turns hosting the show and join forces for special episodes.