News and ViewsDecember 11, 2020
Spectrum News 1 Now Covers All of North Carolina
A Q&A with Senior News Director Bridget Foster on Expansion Into Asheville and the Mountain Regions
Spectrum Networks has been covering news across North Carolina since 2002. Starting December 10, Asheville and the Mountain regions will have access to Spectrum News 1’s award-winning, hyperlocal community news and local coverage - an expansion that means Spectrum News is now available to all Spectrum video and internet customers across the state.
Spectrum News 1’s expansion, coupled with the launch of the Spectrum News App earlier this year, will strengthen the connection with local communities by giving them more access to read, watch or listen to local news anytime, anywhere. Serving Raleigh-Durham, Fayetteville, Charlotte, Greensboro, High Point, Winston-Salem, Wilmington and the coastal communities along with Asheville and Boone, Marion, Tryon, Morganton, Lenoir and Burnsville, Spectrum is doubling-down on its commitment to fill the local news void and serve as an essential part of customers lives.
This significant milestone has been years in the making. As Bridget Foster, Senior Director, News, for Spectrum Networks explains, the latest expansion means more comprehensive coverage of the stories that matter most to North Carolinians.
Q: What’s the reason for this expansion in North Carolina?
Foster: We’ve always wanted to have a presence in all of the communities in North Carolina. This expansion gives us the opportunity to put our multimedia journalists and storytellers in the middle of these communities and to expand our coverage across the state.
It’s really exciting to have reporters who live and work - and are immersed in - these communities. It allows us to bring forth amazing stories with really great characters - and to have a presence in an area that, up until this point, we haven’t covered as frequently.
Q: Will this expansion help fill gaps in local news coverage that have resulted from the shuttering of local newspapers?
Foster: Absolutely. During the past 15 years, roughly 44 newspapers have ceased operations in North Carolina. As a result, our viewers are craving local stories that are relevant to their lives. In the area where we are expanding, there’s currently only one daily print outlet and one local television station. So, this expansion is going to fill a need that people in those communities greatly desire.
Q: Can you speak to the quality of the team you have put in place?
Foster: We’ve added three new reporters to the Mountains region - bringing us to a total of four. All four know the area well – they live, work and are actively involved in these communities - and they have a vested interest in telling the stories of the local residents. They clearly understand the topics, issues and concerns of the folks who live in the area.
With our journalists embedded in communities across North Carolina, Spectrum News 1 is better able to tell the untold stories that allow us to connect with our customers and go in-depth to uncover more issues that are relevant to their daily lives. These journalists will be assigned specific beats including politics, business, economic development, education, military, culture and sports.
Q: What can viewers in these areas expect to see, in terms of coverage?
Foster: I’ve seen a lot of reactive news coverage in these areas - there’s a lot of spot news. But these stories don’t deliver a lot of value to viewers. We want to go deeper. So, we’re going to offer incredible storytelling - beautifully done and well-researched - where we do more than just scratch the surface of an issue. We want to expose what makes these communities tick.
Q: Will profiles on the people in these communities be a part of your coverage as well?
Foster: Finding those amazing characters who make for great stories is also a big part of this. In one recent segment, we had a gentleman who took us through his community, and when we asked a specific question that he had never heard before, he got emotional. Those are the kinds of moments that - no matter where you live in the state – resonate with people. At the heart of our storytelling are fascinating characters who are part of everyday life here in North Carolina.
More information on this recent expansion is available here.
More information about Spectrum Networks is available here.