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PBS Selects Regional Digital Centers of Innovation

PBS Digital Studios
(Image credit: PBS Digital Studios)

ARLINGTON, Va.—PBS Digital Studios has selected three member stations—Houston Public Media (KUHT), Rocky Mountain PBS (RMPBS), and PBS North Carolina (PBS NC)—as Regional Digital Centers of Innovation. 

Over the next two years, the regional centers will develop original digital series in partnership with PBS Digital Studios. 

Each regional center will also 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.

The initiative was made possible by a $3 million grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). 

“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.” 

As part of the effort, 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, PBS said. 

The first shows will be rolled out across such digital platforms as 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.

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.

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.