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BPR announces first Director of Audience

Andre Daugherty

Blue Ridge Public Radio has promoted Erin Adams as its first Director of Audience.

Adams will lead BPR’s audience growth and engagement strategy for digital, social, and broadcast platforms—BPR.org, newsletters, BPR News and BPR Classic, and the free BPR mobile app—as well as in-person community events. In early 2023 BPR reorganized, creating an Audience Department to prioritize the needs and interests of BPR’s current and potential audience—listeners and readers—in its programming decisions and distribution.

“Legacy media organizations like BPR are rapidly adapting to serve current and new audiences on digital platforms, with content they value, and Erin’s experience in digital marketing, brand-building, nonprofit fundraising, and digital media with attention to audience impact will really propel BPR forward,” says Jeff Pope, BPR’s CEO and General Manager. “She’s a public radio insider with an outsider’s sensibility that is looking at public media and BPR to do more to serve the community.”

Adams joined BPR as Membership Manager in January 2020, bringing more than 15 years of public media experience. Earlier this summer she shifted her work to audience engagement and communication. Prior to coming to BPR, Adams worked in marketing and communications at NPR in Washington, DC, and in membership at Nashville Public Radio in Nashville, TN. Her first career after graduating from the University of North Carolina-Asheville was in print journalism at Asheville Citizen-Times and The Independent Tribune in Concord/Kannapolis, NC.

“As someone with roots in our region, it is a joy and a privilege to serve Western North Carolinians, whether they listen on their radio or read our articles and Instagram posts on their phone,” says Adams. “I look forward to working with our dedicated staff and community partners to ensure more people connect to and with BPR, and that their voices and experiences are heard and reflected in our programming.”

Adams joins Pope, newly hired News Director Laura Lee, Director of Development Rachelle Anderson, Director of Business Sponsorship Steve Busey, and Director of Technology and Broadcasting Jason Reed on BPR’s senior leadership team. Together they are advancing BPR as a multiplatform news organization, galvanizing philanthropic investment in regional journalism, and ultimately giving Western North Carolinians a deeper understanding of one another and the world.

 Despite a flooding incident on August 1 that affected its facilities, BPR’s on air and online operations continue, and staffing is expanding. The station is currently interviewing for an Afternoon Host and Reporter and a full-time News Reporter. A second audience team position to manage engagement and communications will be posted to bpr.org soon.