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I love the start of a new year! It brings excitement and a time of new beginnings. It is certainly an exciting time here at WHRO as we welcome new staff, air new programs, and plan new events.  

One program that isn’t new to many of our viewers is Mercy Street, which became a popular show when it debuted last year. The much-acclaimed Civil War-era drama set in the occupied city of Alexandria, Virginia, is returning for a second season starting Sunday, January 22, at 8:00 p.m. We hope you will join us on January 10 or January 12 for a free screening as we kick off season two. Check out whro.org/mercystreet for registration details.

Another show I’m really looking forward to is Victoria. Jenna Coleman (Doctor Who) stars as the young Queen Victoria at the outset of her epic reign. The seven-part series follows Victoria from her accession to the throne at age 18, through her education in politics, to her courtship and marriage. Read more about this exciting drama on the next page.

We also have some new radio highlights to share. We are pleased to welcome Chuck Doud as our new Director of Radio and Audience Strategy. Chuck is an experienced radio broadcaster and is very familiar with Hampton Roads. He hosted a highly rated, 13-year running morning radio show on 94.9 WPTE in Norfolk, and recently served as executive producer and an on-air personality at iHeartMedia, Inc. We are very excited to welcome him to the team!

Music fans can look forward to a new season of Paul Shugrue’s Out of the Box Sandler Series this year. We hope you will join us for these free concerts on Thursday nights throughout January and February. For talk radio enthusiasts, our local shows HearSay and Another View will continue to highlight key issues in our society and foster community dialogue around them—something that will become even more important as we head into this new year.

2016 was a year filled with contentious debate as presidential candidates vied for the White House. Those debates have left our nation divided and questioning the way forward. Part of public media’s mission is to help inform civil discourse that is essential to American society. We take that mission very seriously. As a new president is inaugurated on January 20, we feel a responsibility to ensure that the many diverse voices in our community are heard and have a safe place to come together and discuss the issues that are so important to us all. We look forward to continuing to provide these opportunities through our local radio programs and events like our Race: Let’s Talk About It town halls. We hope you will join us!

The work we do would not be possible without your support. So as we start 2017, I want to say thank you for being so generous throughout the last year. We look forward to serving you this year by continuing to provide the informative news, programs, and music that you enjoy. Happy New Year!

 

December is always an exciting month as we gather with loved ones to celebrate the holidays. It is also a time to reflect on the year’s milestones. As we approach the end of 2016, I am thankful for the generous support that you have provided to WHRO. Because of you, we have accomplished many exciting things this year.

As I write to you, it’s early October and Hurricane Matthew is heading toward Hampton Roads with little certainty about whether the storm will make landfall and what the impact might be. It’s a bit like the Presidential election, now just 32 days away and too close to call. By the time you read this, Presidential History will be made and hopefully, any storm damage averted.

One of my favorite things about leading WHRO is the fact we truly are a locally owned nonprofit organization. Local means that we are not owned by some larger entity outside of Virginia. Local means that we are your neighbors and understand the needs of the local community. Local means that you can reach out and be heard by your public media organization.

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is the nation’s tribute to the American worker. It’s also a yearly unofficial end to summer and start of school. Labor Day is also seen by some as the unofficial start of the final campaign stretch toward the November elections. It’s one day, during our calendar year, that is rich in significance for many of us.