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.

Two polls released this week show Democrat Cal Cunningham still leading incumbent Republican Thom Tillis in the closely-watched North Carolina U.S. Senate race.  They’re the first polls done since the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and the ensuing political battle over her replacement on the court.  

Meg Kelly / NPR

Follow NPR's live coverage of the first 2020 presidential election debate, including fact-checking and analysis. President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are in Cleveland for the event, moderated by Chris Wallace of Fox News.  The debate is scheduled to start at 9 p.m. Tuesday

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BPR News Presents

Sep 23, 2020

BPR News Presents is the name for all original programming that is produced by the Blue Ridge Public Radio news team.  That includes episodes of the news team's long-form interview show 'The Porch', individual shows on a single topic, and candidate forums.  A full list of programs is below.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

(UPDATE 10:45 p.m.) Asheville City Council Tuesday night approved a roughly 3% cut to the city police department’s budget.  The plan was crafted after council members delayed approving a full city budget after a group of Black activists sought cuts in police spending, with money being reinvested in Asheville's Black community.  

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

The organizers of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational, one of the most prestigious and well-known men's college basketball tournaments, have announced the 2020 edition will be played at the Harrah's Cherokee Center Asheville due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nurses at Mission Hospital and its adjacent facilities in Asheville have voted to join a union, National Nurses United, by a more than 2-to-1 margin.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

On September 4th and 5th Blue Ridge Public Radio in partnership with Smoky Mountain News and Mountain Xpress held two forums with the major party candidates for the currently vacant seat in North Carolina's 11th Congressional district.  Republican Madison Cawthorn and Democrat Moe Davis faced each other at Western Carolina University's Biltmore Park campus, and then again at the school's main campus in Cullowhee.  Cory Vaillancourt of Smoky Mountain News and BPR moderated. 

Henderson County sheriff’s deputy Ryan Hendrix died Thursday from wounds he suffered while responding to a call about gunfire near the Mountain Home area north of Hendersonville early Thursday morning.  

The stature of athletes has always been apparent.  But how much power do they actually have in achieving social change?  Bomani Jones examined this in an August 2020 article in Vanity Fair.  The ESPN host and podcaster joins John & Marcia to talk about the power of athletes in this episode.

(Music featured includes The Author Never Dies by Nihilore)  

Matt Bush

Asheville City Council appointed attorney Antanette Mosley to a vacant city council seat Tuesday.  Mosley will fill the seat Vijay Kapoor resigned earlier this summer after he and his family moved away from Asheville.  

At this particular moment in history, we think it's vital that we give ourselves more time to listen to what's happening in Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia.  To do that, Blue Ridge Public Radio is launching a new program from its news department - BPR News Presents: The Porch.

North Carolina will be one of the state’s that decides this fall’s presidential election, plus which party controls the U.S. Senate.  It also has one of the most watched gubernatorial elections in the U.S. this fall, plus every seat in the North Carolina General Assembly is on the ballot, all of the council state, seats on county commissions, city councils, town aldermen…you get the point. 

Republican Madison Cawthorn and Democrat Moe Davis, candidates for North Carolina's 11th Congressional district seat left vacant by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, have both agreed to appear at a two-day joint forum hosted by three of the district’s largest media outlets, Blue Ridge Public Radio, Smoky Mountain News, and Mountain Xpress.

Welcome To 'The Porch'

Sep 2, 2020

At this particular moment in history, we think it's vital that we give ourselves more time to listen to what's happening in Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia.  To do that, Blue Ridge Public Radio is launching a new program from its news department - BPR News Presents: The Porch.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Nurses at Mission Health's hospital in Asheville are currently voting on whether to join a union, National Nurses United.

This September, Blue Ridge Public Radio will be adding four shows to its program schedule, while moving five others to both of its channels so they can be heard by all of Western North Carolina.

Chris Borland

Aug 26, 2020

As a rookie linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers in 2014, Chris Borland registered 107 tackles, even though he didn't start until Week 7.  He was even NFL Rookie of the Week that year.  With a seemingly long and successful career in the league in front of him, Borland retired after his rookie season over concerns about long-term brain trauma.  He joins John & Marcia discuss why he stepped away from football, plus his-post NFL life of preaching the benefits of meditation and his internship with former president Jimmy Carter's foundation.

Cory Vaillancourt

(9:00 p.m. Monday) - Shortly after being renominated for a second term, President Donald Trump visited Western North Carolina Monday afternoon to tout an agricultural program created to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Two of the 'Power 5' NCAA conferences - the Big 10 and Pac 12 - have already postponed their football seasons due to the pandemic.  The three others - the ACC, Big 12, and SEC - are forging ahead...for now.  Should there be a season?  Dr.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

The Buncombe County board of commissioners is now the largest local government body to support the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in its legal fight with the Catawba Indian Nation over a proposed casino in the Charlotte suburbs.   

We at Going Deep had to take some time off due to the pandemic, but we're back with a new show in a newly-expanded time slot.  The twin pandemics affecting the U.S. - racial injustice and the coronavirus - intersect with sports in so many ways.  The Shoops examined that in an op-ed for the News & Observer this summer.  In this episode, John and Marcia discuss those intersections with Dr.

Former Buncombe County commissioner Ellen Frost plead guilty Monday morning in federal court to one charge of conspiracy to commit fraud.  

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.

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