Blue Ridge Public Radio is continuing to expand its news coverage of Western North Carolina. After a national search, BPR has hired a full-time regional reporter that will be based in Jackson County. The station has also expanded partnership with the Smoky Mountain News.
Joining BPR as its regional reporter is Lilly Knoepp, a native of Franklin, NC who returns to WNC after serving as the assistant editor of Women@Forbes and digital producer of the Forbes podcast network and its social media components. She also helped voice the Forbes podcast Bankable. Knoepp earned a master’s degree in journalism from the City University of New York after graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in religious studies and political science.
“Lilly’s enthusiasm to tell the stories of the region she grew up in shone through in our discussions with her,” says BPR news director Matt Bush. “She’ll be a great addition to the BPR News team.” BPR will open its first bureau location outside Buncombe County. The new office will be in Sylva which will give Knoepp a base from which to cover a wide area of Western North Carolina.
A year ago, Blue Ridge Public Radio launched BPR News as the organization’s second service and one that’s devoted to public radio journalism 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Its enthusiastic listener support has encouraged BPR to continue to invest in its news coverage. Along with Knoepp’s reporting, BPR listeners will continue to hear stories from Smoky Mountain News reporter Cory Vaillancourt. “Cory’s knowledge of the area he covers is unmatched and he has quickly learned how to translate that into thoughtful and engaging public radio news stories,” says Bush. “We are pleased to be able to continue our relationship with him and the Smoky Mountain News.”