Catherine Komp

Content Director

Catherine Komp joined Blue Ridge Public Radio in September 2020 as the organization’s first Director of Content, leading BPR’s talented team of local journalists and content creators, overseeing national programming and facilitating collaborations and engagement initiatives. 

 

Catherine has nearly two decades of experience in public and nonprofit media and is recognized for her expertise in developing talent and award-winning local content, managing complex projects and building a culture of mentorship within stations.

  

Previously, Catherine was Senior Editor at VPM News, where she played a lead role in the rapid expansion of the news department, designing editorial infrastructure for a growing team of beat reporters and expanding in-depth coverage, special series and collaborations. Prior to VPM, she spent five years as Executive Producer and Senior Editor at FSRN, a daily, 30-minute US and international news program.  

 

Catherine is a 2020 Fellow in the CPB/ASU Editorial Integrity and Leadership Initiative and a winner of the Virginia Press Association’s 2020 Leadership & Innovation Awards. 

 

Born and raised in Wisconsin, Catherine’s parents instilled a lifelong love of nature through family trips to hunt asparagus, puff balls and blackberries. She’s an avid gardener and home chef, and always happy to swap seeds and recipes. 

The inaugural cycle of StoryCraft, a partnership between BPR and Asheville Writers In The Schools and Community, used an exploration of the senses as our north star during a series of six youth storytelling workshops at the Grant Center.  

Our goal was to facilitate a genuine experience of identity exploration at a variety of levels through: 

Simplicity: making sure their experiences and voices are captured without concerns of format, right or wrong.  

Emotional engagement of the senses: allowing the inner landscape to be voiced through it.  

What happens when you put a microphone and camera in the hands of youth? When you guide them through an exploration of the senses and encourage their creative expression? When you make space for youth and adults to collaborate, using a model that works to disrupt power dynamics and involve young people in shaping the programming? 

wearing a pink tee shirt and holding a notebook, Tori Stinson reads her poem to a group sitting on chairs in a circle on the stage of the Grant Center auditorium.
Cass Herrington

In the second part of StoryCraft, artist mentors Elizabeth Garland and Micah Mackenzie introduce us to 15-year-old Tori Stinson. During our series of summer storytelling workshops at the Grant Center, Tori used the writing prompt “Who am I?” to examine how dance defines her as a person, how she calls on dance to help her through difficult times. Here’s an excerpt: 

Dance makes me calm.  

Dance is who I am, I am freestyle dance.  

Dance is my escape, it’s my escape from negative energy and bad things.  

Dance is my superpower.  

BPR is pleased to announce StoryCraft, a youth engagement partnership with Asheville Writers In The Schools and Community (AWITSC). Together, we’re collaborating on storytelling workshops for local youth and making space for their voices on BPR’s airwaves and digital platforms. Listen to the on-air pieces here: 

StoryCraft Part 1: I am music 

StoryCraft Part 2: Dance is my everything

In the first part of StoryCraft, we learn about the origins of the partnership with BPR and Asheville Writers In The Schools and Community, and we introduce you to one of the youth poets – 15-year-old Antonio Stinson, now in the 9th grade at Asheville High School. During StoryCraft’s summer 2021 storytelling workshops, Antonio used the writing prompt “Who am I?” to develop a powerful poem that uses musical structure and composition to explore the role music plays in his life.  

Would you like to help strengthen Blue Ridge Public Radio’s relationship with the Western North Carolina Community? Got ideas for enhancing BPR’s programming and increasing impact? 

BPR is pleased to share our 2021 line-up of specials to accompany your Thanksgiving holiday.  

A KOSU reporter interviews a man in a white shirt and straw hat sitting outside, in front of a car.
Courtesy America Amplified

BPR will deepen its engagement with communities across Western North Carolina this year by partnering with other public radio stations in a national initiative called America Amplified.

Éowyn Fain stands in front of a BPR photo wall showing BPR's logo and blue mountains.
Jason Reed

BPR is pleased to announce our newest staff member, operations coordinator and announcer Éowyn Fain. Éowyn comes to BPR with a wide-ranging background as a podcast editor, radio station DJ and technical director and co-executive producer of ATV Beats, a music video series featuring live sessions of up-and-coming artists.

BPR is pleased to announce the addition of three new programs and a refreshed weekend schedule beginning Saturday October 2, 2021.

Code Switch and Life Kit

Mike Martinez wearing a jean jacket and sunglasses stands outside the BPR studios smiling.
Catherine Komp/BPR

BPR is pleased to announce that Mike Martinez has joined the organization as an announcer. Mike will be the local voice guiding listeners through weekday programming like 1A and The World as well as several weekend shows on BPR News and BPR Classic.  

Don Pedi holds a dulcimer and is seen outside, wearing a plaid shirt and brown hat.
Courtesy Don Pedi.

Musician and educator Don Pedi has hosted music programs on BPR since 1985, starting as a fill-in host and eventually developing “Close to Home” which brings listeners traditional, old-time and classic folk, often curated around themes, every Saturday from 8:00 to 10:00 PM.  

The next virtual meeting of the BPR Community Forum is scheduled for Wednesday September 15, 6:00-7:30 PM via Zoom. 

A sign outside the Cruso Community Center offers food, water and restrooms.
Lilly Knoepp/BPR News

Historic flooding following the heavy rains of Tropic Storm Fred on August 15th-17th devastated hundreds of homes and businesses in Haywood County, and damaged or destroyed over 30 roads and bridges. As of Monday August 23, officials confirmed the deaths of five people from the floods. Haywood and Transylvania counties are still assessing the extent of the damage and continue to coordinate relief efforts. BPR will update this list with resources and ways to help. 

Haywood County

Catherine Komp/BPR News

Gas stations across Western North Carolina are feeling a crunch after the Colonial Pipeline shutdown because of a cyber-attack. In Asheville, long lines outside of gas stations spilled onto Merrimon avenue and other city streets on Monday. By Tuesday morning, many of those gas stations were out of fuel.

The next virtual meeting of the BPR Community Forum is scheduled for Wednesday May 12, 6:00-7:30 PM via Zoom. 

 

George and Ann Goosmann smile while sitting in the stands near the 18th Green at Pebble Beach while visiting California in 2018.
Photo courtesy of George Goosmann.

COVID-19 has altered our lives in numerous ways: from work to school to staying connected to friends and family. While the country processes a year of loss and uncertainty, many are reflecting on how the pandemic has changed them. For BPR and Foxfire’s COVID oral history project, we hear from Asheville resident Ann Goosmann, interviewed by her son George, a student at UNC-Chapel Hill.

NPR student podcast challenge
Illustration by Cass Herrington

Students in the Asheville area and beyond are hustling to meet the March 15th deadline to submit their entries for NPR’s Student Podcast Challenge. The annual contest invites students from across the country to put together a short podcast exploring any topic they’d like and provides training materials for classrooms. While winners get the chance to hear their piece on NPR, the initiative is also about skill sharing, collaboration and inspiring the next generation of audio storytellers.

As we mark the one year anniversary of the pandemic in North Carolina, BPR is launching a new series of oral histories from Appalachia. It’s a partnership with Foxfire Museum to gather and share how COVID-19 has shaped us. We start with Rabun County middle school teachers John and Alicia Kilby, interviewed by their former student Zain Harding.

Matthew Septimus

Blue Ridge Public Radio is pleased to announce the addition of two national programs to our daily line-up of weekday news and public affairs shows: The Takeaway and The World. Beginning Monday January 4th, 2021, listeners can hear The Takeaway at 2:00 PM on BPR News and BPR Classic, and The World at 7:00 PM on BPR News. 

Join Blue Ridge Public Radio for a month of special holiday programming. We are pleased to bring you annual traditions, like the choirs of Morehouse and Spelman Colleges, Ari Shapiro and Pink Martini’s “A Holiday in Pink,” Hanukkah Lights, hosted by Susan Stamberg and Murray Horwitz and the live world-wide Christmas Eve broadcast “A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols” along with many others.

The next meeting of the BPR Community Forum is scheduled for December 3, 2020, 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM. Members will gather via Zoom and the meeting will be livestreamed on BPR's Facebook page.

The BPR Community Forum is an advisory committee, which is not involved directly in the station's daily management or operations. Forum members learn about public radio, meet Blue Ridge Public Radio staff members, and have regular communication with the station about the needs of their local communities. 

Got questions on how to make your gravy or cranberry sauce?

Lilly Knoepp/BPR News

 

12:00 AM – Wednesday November 4, 2020

While many races in North Carolina - including the presidency - seem too close to call, North Carolinians can hold onto their reputation of a battleground state. Republicans won big in Western North Carolina as reported by BPR's Lilly Knoepp and Cory Vaillancourt was on hand to cover the #NC11 win by Madison Cawthron.  

Nate Hadley/WCJ

BPR News is gearing up for a full day of reporting from Western North Carolina and providing you with local, state and national coverage on-air, on BPR's online streams and on our free BPR mobile app