Vermont PBS And VPR Team Up For Weekly “News Minute”

Jul 5, 2018

Vermont Public Radio and Vermont PBS have announced a new partnership bringing the TV station’s viewers a 60-second roundup of VPR’s top stories every week.

The VPR News Minute debuted on June 7 with host Henry Epp, VPR’s All Things Considered host and reporter. The segment draws on VPR’s award-winning reporting and is filmed and produced by Vermont PBS. The weekly segment airs just before PBS NewsHour and is published on both stations’ social media platforms.

The stations began discussing potential partnerships last summer, recognizing that combining VPR’s journalism with Vermont PBS’ production capability could create a valuable product for the entire community.

In addition to the broadcast television audience, the first three episodes have drawn more than 4,500 views on social platforms, and have featured stories ranging from spruce forest recovery, to Vermont state budget negotiations to racial disparities in traffic stops in the state.

“As the media landscape has changed over the last decade, public media has been growing to fill an educational and informational gap, so the opportunity to work together also grew,” said John Van Hoesen, VPR’s senior vice president and chief content officer. “It seemed like a good starting point to combine our organizations’ strengths to provide Vermont PBS with local news for its programming and to provide VPR with an opportunity for video newscasts for a new audience.”

“Vermont PBS viewers like to be in the know on matters around the world, but also around the corner,” added Holly Groschner, President and CEO of Vermont PBS. “Partnering with VPR allows us to combine our strengths and shared values to serve Vermont newshounds. The VPR News Minute is a great complement to Vermont This Week, PBS NewsHour, and our other news and politics coverage.”

The stations have a six-month contract for the program. After the contract expires, the stations will assess whether to continue or even expand beyond weekly broadcasts.

“It’s great when public radio and public television can come together and use resources together,” Van Hoesen said. “The end result has higher value than what either one of us could’ve done on our own.”

VPR and Vermont PBS are also exploring ways to collaborate on coverage of upcoming elections.