Blue Ridge PBS Announces Retirement of President / CEO James Baum

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Blue Ridge PBS has announced the retirement of James Baum, President & CEO at the end of current fiscal year, June 30, 2019. Mr. Baum has served the station since January 8, 2007.

During Mr. Baum’s tenure, Blue Ridge PBS was the recipient of four regional Emmy Awards for documentaries and community service. Most notable was the award for BRPBS’ original series “JobQuest” (2009-2010). The program helped place unemployed viewers in Southwest Virginia with employers looking to hire quality personnel for their businesses. “JobQuest” came at a critical time when the economy and job markets were in a downturn for the region.

BRPBS Board Chair, Marsha Combs, commented, “We thank James for his dedicated service and commitment to BRPBS and wish him all the best in his retirement.”

William Anderson, BRPBS Executive Vice President, has been appointed as Interim President and CEO effective June 12th.

Ms. Combs, stated “Will  has served in senior management and leadership roles at Blue Ridge PBS since 2008. His extensive experience, knowledge and commitment to public television operations and our community will ensure a smooth transition for the station.”

“Lifelong education, economic development, and tourism throughout Southwest Virginia will continue to be our concentration,” said Anderson. “The innovations of local people and businesses within the communities we serve deserve to be highlighted. We look forward to sharing those stories alongside the quality PBS programs Blue Ridge PBS viewers have come to love and respect.”

“The talented staff of Blue Ridge PBS is embracing the change and is eagerly looks forward to finding new,  and exciting local productions from across  Southwest Virginia and to creating a new educational department centered in innovative media digital technology,” said Anderson.

Founded in 1967, Blue Ridge PBS is the sole public multimedia enterprise serving 4 million individuals in portions of four states. The station’s coverage area includes southwestern Virginia and bordering counties in Tennessee, West Virginia and North Carolina.

Based in Roanoke, Va., Blue Ridge PBS is comprised of four channels: WBRA-TV 15.1, Southwest Virginia PTV 15.2, BR PBS Kids 15.3, Create 15.4, and Blue Ridge Streaming.