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From the voices heard on BPR's air to the strategists working behind the scenes, get to the know station staff, their pathways to public radio, and what's on their playlists and bookshelves.

Meet Henry Nelson, BPR’s new host and announcer

Henry Nelson sitting in kayak on a body of water with trees and mountains in the background
Courtesy of Henry Nelson
Being on the water in a kayak is one of Henry's favorite hobbies.

The newest addition to BPR’s growing on-air staff is Henry Nelson, whom you can currently hear on BPR News and BPR Classic weekdays from 3 to 6 PM on Fresh Air and All Things Considered.

Get to know Henry and join us in welcoming him to BPR.

Team BPR: Tell us about yourself.

Henry: I repositioned my life in 2020, moving from Memphis to Asheville in hopes of enjoying the expansive choices for outdoor activity and the arts and culture of Appalachia. I studied mass communications at The University of Memphis, The University of New Orleans and the Institute of Broadcasting, and I worked for several commercial radio stations in Memphis, New Orleans, Orlando, and Virginia Beach.

Team BPR: What attracts you to work in public media and for Blue Ridge Public Radio?

Henry: During many years of serving in the entertainment business of commercial radio, I would tune in to public radio to remain connected to my truth of being anchored by the values of trust in fair and impartial reporting. I also respect having difficult and caring conversations, public radio’s accountability, responsibility, presentation by the hosts, and the authentic connection to its community.

What really impressed me about BPR is its origin story, how a community has passionately supported BPR’s growth, and especially BPR’s commitment to local and regional reporting, and the efforts we make to reach communities over the mountains and into the valleys. When I moved from Memphis to Asheville, settled into a new home, and found the right place for my two classic Tivoli Radios, tuning to BPR is one of the comforts of being surrounded by all my favorite and familiar things.

Team BPR: When you’re not behind the mic, what do you enjoy doing?

Henry: Being outdoors, hiking, being on the water in a kayak, tooling around on my bike, walking, and making time to read, paint, write, and work on family research. One of the most pleasant surprises and a delight is visiting the region’s many farmer markets and apple orchards and exploring the unique communities surrounding Asheville.

Team BPR: What are you currently listening to?

Henry: I’m mostly a reader and about to finish Carl Sandburg’s Abraham Lincoln volumes on The Prairie Years and the War Years. Along with four other non-fiction books, I’m reading Jason Mott’s novel Hell of a Book, and much more. I subscribe to creating a personal music soundtrack for one’s life; mine is filled with about 100 classic rock and R & B “oldies” that fill my soul. In rotation on my turntable is Joy Oladokun, Johnathan Brown, Candice Ivory, and always some Miles Davis, among others. One of my favorite things to do on Sunday: Breakfast in bed with The New York Times and listening to a podcast with either Terry Gross or Krista Tippett around lunch time.

BPR's first Director of Audience, Erin joined the station in January 2020, having previously worked in digital marketing at NTEN in Portland, OR, marketing and communications at NPR in Washington, DC, and fundraising at Nashville Public Radio in Nashville, TN. Her introduction to public radio was listening to The Diane Rehm Show on WFAE in Charlotte, NC, on her father’s car radio in middle school. She's now a proud monthly Sustainer of several public radio stations.