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More than 18,000 in W.Va. try for ‘Roadshow’ tickets

By Phil Kabler, Staff writer

More than 18,000 people entered the online lottery for 3,000 pairs of tickets to the Aug. 16 taping of “Antiques Roadshow” in Charleston.

That’s just one example of the unprecedented promotional and fund-raising potential for the popular PBS program’s first appearance in West Virginia, West Virginia Public Broadcasting executive director Scott Finn told members of the state Public Broadcasting Foundation Wednesday.

Finn said 18,272 people entered the lottery for tickets.

Fundraising opportunities will include an Aug. 15 reception featuring host Mark Walberg and celebrity appraisers from the show, to be held at a downtown Charleston hotel, as well as a gala premiere of one of the Charleston episodes, likely to be held at the Culture Center sometime before the three episodes are broadcast nationally in 2015.

Also, a DVD package featuring the three episodes, as well as a behind-the-scenes video produced by WVPB, will be offered as a premium to contributors in future fund-raising campaigns.

Also during Wednesday’s Foundation meeting:

n Finn unveiled episodes of WVPB’s new interactive Internet video series, STEAM, designed to introduce eighth-graders to career opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math.

To date, four episodes have been produced, including episodes featuring an apprentice pipefitter, and a West Virginia University creative arts professor whose specialty is producing iron sculptures. Each episode emphasizes how each career requires the use of math and science on the job.

The interactive videos are intended to be incorporated into mandatory career readiness curriculum in state public schools.

Finn said the goal is to produce videos covering a wide variety of career options in the state.

“I think we’re going to keep doing this until they tell us to stop,” Finn said, referring to middle school teachers.

He said the video series is an example of WVPB’s transition away from producing weekly television programs to placing more emphasis on its educational mission.

To that end, he said “Doctors on Call” will go from a weekly program to six specials a year, and “The Law Works” will go from weekly to occasional special episodes.

Finn said of the transition, “It feels like we’re turning a big battleship that’s going in a new direction.”

n Foundation members watched a preview of “Rockefeller,” a WVPB documentary on the life of U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., which is currently in production and is expected to be broadcast in early 2015.

Reach Phil Kabler at philk@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.


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