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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 Lilly Knoepp, BPR's Senior Regional Reporter

Lilly Knoepp with knit cap on her head with a river rushing behind her.
Courtesy of Lilly Knoepp
One of Lilly’s favorite places in the summer or winter weather is the Needmore Tract of the Little Tennessee River.

Lilly Knoepp is BPR's Sylva-based Senior Regional Reporter and a major crafting enthusiast. She's also the subject of our latest "Meet Team BPR" profile series. Read on to learn why this Franklin-born journalist returned to her roots to join BPR.

Team BPR: Tell us about yourself, Lilly.

Lilly: I’m the senior regional reporter covering Western North Carolina. I’ve been in this role since 2018, covering everything from politics and local government to art and Appalachian history. This year I launched a project with Foxfire Museum to collect oral histories about women in Appalachia.

I was lucky enough to find journalism at Franklin High School while working on the newspaper. I couldn’t believe that you could make a career out of asking people questions. I continued exploring journalism at UNC Chapel Hill as a political science and religious studies double major. In college, I spent time at both The Daily Tar Heel and Reese News Lab, an entrepreneurial journalism lab in the J-School.

My Reese News Lab crew set me on the path toward City University of New York, where I earned my master’s degree in international journalism. During grad school, I interned in Paris for the summer at France24 on The 51 Percent and Radio France International.

Before working at BPR, I lived in NYC and worked at Forbes in the Women@Forbes section focused on millennial women entrepreneurs and working on Forbes podcasts. But I wanted to make audio full time and move back to North Carolina. That’s when I found out BPR was hiring - and the rest is history!

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

Lilly: I was born and raised in Franklin, so it is amazing to cover the news and issues that are important to my community. Throughout my education, I was able to try different types of journalism from newspapers to video and public radio is by far my favorite. It is so meaningful to being able to share the voices of the people that I get to interview every day and to strive for public media’s mission to reflect our community on-air.

Team BPR: When you’re not working on a story, what do you enjoy doing? 

Lilly: I love going outside, especially swimming in the cold river water in the summer. I make art ranging from jewelry and watercolor cards to crafting and some creative writing. I also love to cook. 'Tis the season for cheesy Christmas movies and baking at my house!

Team BPR: What are you currently listening to?

Lilly: I just finished listening to the audio book version of Britney Spears' memoir. It was definitely a must-read for me, as someone who grew up listening to her music and wanted to hear her side of the conservatorship.

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.
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