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Pioneer PBS raises our regional identity
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Pioneer PBS is shining a light on the small towns and farming communities of the upper midwest by producing nationally distributed programs and by receiving a record number of Upper Midwest Emmy® Award nominations this past month. A new sign with a new logo has been erected on our studio building along Highway 23 in Granite Falls, calling more attention to the new program offerings and new ways to watch the thought-provoking and entertaining shows our station provides.

The big news is that 21 Pioneer PBS programs were nominated for Upper Midwest Emmy® Awards. We will know if any of them receive an award on Saturday, November 14 at a special online event hosted by the Upper Midwest Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. This is the most regional Emmy nominations for Pioneer PBS’s local productions in the 54-year history of the station.

Ben and Dana are going to be part of the online Gala event on Nov. 14 when the awards will be announced.

Among the 13 Postcards programs nominated were three documentaries that the team produced this past year that have also been selected for national distribution by American Public Television (APT). More than 280 PBS stations across the country have indicated an interest in broadcasting The Devil’s Instrument, Sympathetic Strings: Stories of the Hardanger Fiddle and The Horse Relative. This means that millions of viewers will be watching programs produced by your very own local PBS station featuring people and places you know.

Nominees Cindy and Bret from Prairie Sportsman.

Pioneer PBS received seven Upper Midwest Emmy® nominations for 2020 Prairie Sportsman productions and talent. Nominated stories include “Carrol’s Wild Life,” “Living With Wolves” and “The Sled Dog Capital.” Full episodes nominated include “Driftless” and “Exploring Red Lake.” Bret Amundson was nominated in the "Program Host" and producer Cindy Dorn in the "Writer" categories.

Prairie Yard & Garden host Mary Holm and Mike Cihak.

As many of you know Prairie Yard & Garden (PY&G) will be airing its 34th season in January 2021 with a new look. This year was the first time PY&G ever submitted an episode for consideration for a regional Emmy® and it was nominated! Let’s hope our beloved Mary Holm and those buckthorn eating goats may soon have their 15 minutes of regional fame!

Pioneer PBS updated sign.

Speaking of new looks -- have you seen the new white and blue Pioneer PBS sign lighting up the night along Highway 23 in Granite Falls? The new sign was the capstone of a year-long effort to refresh the Pioneer PBS and the PBS brand.

It's been more than a month since we launched our free live streaming service that allows you to watch Pioneer PBS on your cell phone or tablet. We can see from reports that several thousand viewers are taking advantage of this new service. Tell us how you like it!

Amanda Anderson interviewing Rachel Perić from Welcoming America and Pablo Obregón from Southwest Initiative Foundation.

Finally -- have you been able to watch the new format for Compass -- our regional public affairs program produced by journalist and social media princess Amanda Anderson. We are using Zoom interview formats and digital first releases and then combining the stories into monthly broadcasts. Through Compass we hope to promote deeper understanding of our communities’ diverse stories, especially those that have been missing from common narratives.

It was about four years ago at this time when we launched our Coming Into View campaign to raise funds to make our new headquarters in Granite Falls all that it can be. We hope you will agree that Pioneer PBS is more visible, more relevant and more vibrant than ever. Please tell your friends about us and continue your support as we have now fulfilled our promise to “Come Into View.”