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.

Ways to Connect

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

The 12 members of the task force that will determine the future of the Vance Monument in downtown Asheville have been chosen.  By the end of the year, the task force is scheduled to determine whether to the remove the 65-foot obelisk from Pack Square and relocate it, or leave it in place and repurpose or recontextualize it.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Buncombe County commissioners Tuesday evening approved a resolution supporting reparations for the Black community in the county.  The resolution – passed on a 4-3 party line vote - does not create a commission to determine what reparations will be like the city of Asheville OK’d last month.  

On Thursday July 23rd, Blue Ridge Public Radio hosted a live Zoom panel to discuss police funding in Asheville.  BPR News Presents: A Conversation On Policing In Asheville, is hosted by BPR's Matt Peiken.  His guests discussing the call to defund the Asheville police department include Robert Thomas of the Racial Justice Coalition, Zaria Abdulkarim of Democracy NC, retired UNC Asheville professor and founder of The State of Black Asheville report Dr.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council approved a 3-month budget Thursday, essentially delaying the decision on whether to cut the city’s police department budget and by how much until September.  

The End Of Dixie

Jul 26, 2020
Korakys/Wikicommons

The ditching of Dixie by the band The Chicks was only new to them.  The word has been rapidly disappearing from the South over the last decade.

With the presidential nominating conventions all but washed out for 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, political junkies have to settle for two things that are the bread and butter of the downtime in campaigns - fundraising totals and polls.

Residents of the city of Asheville can apply starting next month for the upcoming vacancy on city council created by the resignation of council member Vijay Kapoor.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Artists on Sunday completed a mural that spells out 'Black Lives Matter' in Pack Square around the now shrouded Vance Monument, which sits near where historians believe enslaved people were sold prior to the Civil War.

Asheville Police

Asheville police arrested a man Friday whom they say twice threatened and intimidated employees of two different Walmart's in the city, one of which was caught on video which subsequently went viral.

Of 911 calls and requests for assistance to Asheville Police, less than 1 percent involve a violent crime, an AVL Watchdog analysis of police dispatch data shows.

Blue Ridge Public Radio continues to respond to the tectonic changes underway in our country and community through our news coverage and programming.  To better serve the whole of our community during rapidly changing events, and to bring our listeners a wider range of thoughtful and challenging content, we’re updating our broadcast schedule. It will now include a range of local and national programs that address racial justice and the COVID-19 pandemic, which will be featured during more accessible time periods.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council Tuesday evening unanimously approved a resolution supporting reparations for the city’s Black community.  Details of what shape those will take will come over the next year.  

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Buncombe County removed a memorial to Confederate soldiers that stood outside the county courthouse early Tuesday morning.  It's the second Confederate monument to be removed this month in downtown Asheville after Asheville city council and Buncombe County commissioners approved such removals last month following a week of protests calling for racial justice.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council at its next meeting Tuesday will vote on a resolution that calls for reparations for Asheville's Black community.  The move comes after a strong push from the Racial Justice Coalition, which sought to get the matter on the council agenda for Tuesday.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Crews completed the shrouding of the Vance Monument in Asheville's downtown Pack Square, while removing a marker in front of the 65-foot high obelisk that contained a likeness of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville City schools will rename Vance Elementary School in West Asheville.  Superintendent Gene Freeman made the announcement Tuesday at a board of education meeting.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Minor League Baseball canceled its season Tuesday due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning the Asheville Tourists and hundreds of teams around the U.S. and Canada will not take the field this season.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

An Asheville police officer faces charges for use of excessive force during an incident earlier this year.  

Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University has removed the name of former North Carolina Governor and U.S. Senator Clyde Hoey from its auditorium on campus.  

Helen Chickering

Madison Cawthorn's overwhelming win Tuesday in the runoff election for the Republican looks like an upset, as the 24-year-old finished second to Lynda Bennett in the March 3rd primary.  His win Tuesday by a 2-to-1 margin wasn't as unexpected as it looks, though the vote totals were.

Cory Vaillancourt

Madison Cawthorn, who would be the youngest member of Congress should he be elected this fall, trounced fellow Republican Lynda Bennett in Tuesday's runoff election to win the GOP nomination for North Carolina's 11th Congressional district.  He'll face Democrat Moe Davis in the November general election.

Polls open at 6:30 Tuesday morning for the runoff election in Western North Carolina's 11th Congressional district.  Maggie Valley businesswoman Lynda Bennett faces Henderson County real estate investor Madison Cawthorn for the GOP nomination for the seat previously held by President Donald Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows.  Polls close at 7:30 Tuesday evening.

An early morning fire Friday destroyed an affordable housing complex that was under construction on the edge of downtown Asheville.  No injuries were reported.

Matt Bush

In a narrow 4-3 party line vote Tuesday night, Buncombe County commissioners approved a resolution to remove two Confederate monuments in downtown Asheville.  The decision came one week after Asheville City council approved the same resolution unanimously.

Annette Elizabeth Allen / NPR

The House Judiciary Committee is holding hearings Wednesday on racial profiling and policing following the killing of George Floyd. The hearings follow congressional Democrats unveiling legislation that would amount to major reforms for the nation's police departments.  You can watch below.  The hearings are scheduled to start at 10 a.m.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

By unanimous vote Tuesday evening, Asheville city council approved a resolution that calls for the removal of two Confederate monuments, while creating a group to decide the future of the Vance Monument in Pack Square.  The Buncombe County board of commissioners will also vote on the resolution at its next meeting this coming Monday.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council will meet on Tuesday evening.  It's the first meeting since last week's protests, which culminated with a list of demands from a collective of black leaders from city government, which included cutting funds for the city police department and using the money to invest in the black community.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville artist Joseph Pearson left his mark on Blue Ridge Public Radio over the weekend.  He chose to highlight George Floyd in a mural covering up the station’s boarded up windows. 

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Starting Sunday May 31st, marchers in Asheville were in Pack Square each night for an entire week, calling for justice for George Floyd and other African Americans who have died at the hands of law enforcement in the U.S.  

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