Matt Bush

News Director

Matt Bush joined Blue Ridge Public Radio as news director in August 2016.  Excited at the opportunity the build up the news service for both stations as well as help launch BPR News, Matt made the jump to Western North Carolina from Washington D.C.  For the 8 years prior to coming to Asheville, he worked at the NPR member station in the nation's capital as a reporter and anchor.  Matt primarily covered the state of Maryland, including 6 years of covering the statehouse in Annapolis.  Prior to that, he worked at WMAL in Washington and Metro Networks in Pittsburgh, the city he was born and raised in.

Matt has a B.A. in broadcasting from Point Park College in Pittsburgh.  His M.A. is in media entrepreneurship from American University in D.C.  He graduated from the 35th class of Leadership Asheville at UNC-Asheville.

Appalachian Regional Commission

The new co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission may be familiar – as is one of her goals for the people of the mountains.  

On July 23rd, the 2020 Summer Olympics get underway a year late in Tokyo.  Because of COVID-19, these games are already unlike any other in the history of the Olympics.  To get ready for the games, our hosts showcase plenty of stories and facts from Olympic history - some well-known, and many not.  Their guest is David Wallechinsky, who wrote the definitive history of the Olympics The Complete Book of the Olympics, and served as president of the International Society of Olympic Historians from 2012 to 2020.

Lilly Knoepp / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Do you have a question about the COVID vaccine?  We want to hear from you!  Record your question as a voice memo on your cell phone and email us at or use the "talk to us" feature on the free BPR mobile app.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville City Council Tuesday approved $2.1 million for the reparations fund for the city's Black community.  But what the money will be spent on is still unknown, as the 'truth telling' sessions the city is holding to determine what form reparations will take continue throughout June.

On July 1st, six states will see 'name, image, and likeness' bills go onto the books - allowing collegiate players for the first time to make money during their college careers.  Will others follow suit, or will the NCAA be able to hold off the changes as it has since the verdict in the Ed O'Bannon case?  John and Marcia speak with Micahel McCann.  He's a professor at the University of New Hampshire, and a writer for Sportico.

BPR's The Waters & Harvey Show held its second live show Wednesday evening.  Our hosts, their panel, and viewers were all posed the same questions as Asheville further delves into reparations for its Black community - What is justice?  And what form of reparations will bring racial justice?

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

One year after the racial justice protests following the police murder of George Floyd, how much closer are we to the goals stated by the marchers in Asheville and Western North Carolina?

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Demolition of the Vance Monument in downtown Asheville began Monday and will take roughly two weeks to complete.

In this episode of Going Deep, we mark the beginning of the minor league baseball season this week with an episode that looks at the growing differences between the minors and college baseball. Our guests include the manager of the Asheville Tourists Nate Shaver, and the head baseball coach at UNC Asheville Scott Friedholm.  And for the first time, we take questions from our listeners! 

(Music featured includes I'm Fat by Blanket Music and Elmore Heights by Blue Dot Sessions)  

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

President Biden is addressing a joint session of Congress Wednesday night on the eve of 100 days in office.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper will give his third State of the State address Monday evening in Raleigh, followed by the Republican response.

Paul Barker

A day after announcing most COVID-19 restrictions could be lifted June 1st if two-thirds of state residents are partially vaccinated by that date, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper urged residents to get their shot during a visit to a vaccine clinic in Asheville. 

In this episode of The Porch, a production of the BPR news team, we hear from -

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville City Council held its annual retreat earlier this month at Harrah's Cherokee Center Asheville.  The whole event was open to the public, but only after a lawsuit that was filed by five media outlets - Mountain Xpress, Asheville Citizen-Times, Blue Ridge Public Radio, Carolina Public Press, and AVL Watchdog. 

Chelsea Beck for NPR

President Biden is giving an address on plans to withdraw all remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that prompted America's involvement in its longest war.

Lilly Knoepp / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Do you have a question about the COVID vaccine?  We want to hear from you!  Record your question as a voice memo on your cell phone and email us at or use the "talk to us" feature on the free BPR mobile app

Looking for information about where to get vaccinated near you?  North Carolina Health News has a comprehensive listing of county vaccines sites, which will be updated often. Find it here.

Need a ride?  NCDOT and NCDHHS have distributed funding to help pay for transportation. Check with your local transit agency for more details.  You can find your agency online  NC_public_transit.pdfOpen PDF

Rusell Dinkins ran track at Princeton.  He knows firsthand how the sport can help Black athletes get into college.  That's why he's made it his mission to stop universities from around the country from cutting track & field and cross country programs - like at Brown, William & Mary, and Minnesota.  Dinkins joins our hosts to talk about his late

Chelsea Beck for NPR

President Biden is presenting his next big legislative move: infrastructure. The "Build Back Better" plan is expected to include funding for physical infrastructure like roads and bridges as well as for clean energy and energy efficiency projects.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

UPDATE 9:00 A.M. - The city of Asheville will now live stream most of city council's two-day retreat.  The live stream, which can be viewed here or on the city's YouTube channel, will begin at 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon and continue through all-day Thursday.  The team-building exercise, which was at the center of a lawsuit brought by five media organizations, will not be live-streamed.  Those wishing to watch it live must do so in-person at the Harrah's Cherokee Center Asheville.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Removal of the Vance Monument from downtown Asheville's Pack Square can move forward after a Buncombe County judge denied a motion to halt it Monday.

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

President Biden is holding his first news conference on Thursday and is expected to field questions on a wide range of topics, from the coronavirus to the influx of migrants at the border and his upcoming infrastructure effort.

Asheville City Council voted Tuesday evening to remove the Vance Monument from its spot in the city's main public space, taking away the 65-foot obelisk which has stood in what is now called Pack Square since 1898.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville City Council is scheduled to take a vote Tuesday on whether to remove the 65-foot Vance Monument from downtown's Pack Square.  The decision will culminate a years-long push to remove from Asheville's main public space the obelisk which is dedicated to North Carolina's Civil War Governor and U.S. Senator during Reconstruction, who fought against civil rights for Black Americans.

RALEIGH — Coming off a narrow election defeat in 2020, North Carolina’s first Black woman to serve as chief justice on the state Supreme Court will soon enter the 2022 U.S. Senate race, two advisers familiar with her deliberations said Thursday.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Authorities have arrested a Brevard man and charged him with leaving several incendiary devices around the city on Sunday.

Noah Fortson/NPR

President Biden is giving the first prime-time address of his presidency to mark one year of the coronavirus pandemic, a day after Congress passed a massive relief package. More than 500,000 people have died from the virus in the U.S.

In February of 2020, Alex Gary was announced as the new athletic director at Western Carolina University.  By the time the former Catamount baseball player started the job a few months later, the whole world had changed.  Gary recounts his first year as AD in this episode with John and Marcia, and what it was like to address all the challenges that arose.  He's the first Black athletic director at both Western Carolina and the Southern Conference.

(Music featured includes Le Vrai by Brakhage and Limelight by Podington Bear)  

Impolite conversations. Intimate connections. Important self-discoveries. 

Campaign For Southern Equality

Buncombe County commissioner Jasmine Beach-Ferrara will run for the Democratic nomination in the 11th Congressional district in Western North Carolina next year.  Beach-Ferrara is the first Democrat to formally announce a run to unseat freshman Republican Congressman Madison Cawthorn. 

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville City Council Tuesday approved new rules for future hotel projects, ending a nearly one-and-a-half-year moratorium on the construction of new hotels in the city.