R.I. Foundation, Cox launch TV series highlighting local successes
THE RHODE ISLAND FOUNDATION and Cox Communications have teamed up to produce a 24-hour television program dedicated to sharing local success stories. Foundation President and CEO Neil D. Steinberg said the initiative would help improve the state's self-esteem.
PROVIDENCE – Rhode Islanders weary of the barrage of statistics that have put the Ocean State dead last for unemployment for four consecutive months can now view local success stories through “Our Backyard TV,” a new 24-hour On Demand channel produced by Cox Communications in partnership with the Rhode Island Foundation.
Channel 1891 will feature stories about Rhode Islanders who have grown successful businesses in the state or propelled Rhode Island onto the national stage through their work, such as neighborhood butcher-shop owner Armando Nieves, University of Rhode Island oceanographer Bob Ballard – best known for discovering the Titanic – and Brown University scientist and inventor Jeff Morgan.
“Business leaders told us that the state’s self-esteem problem is holding us back,” said Neil D. Steinberg, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation. “In order to change the way Rhode Islanders talk about our state, we’ve got to let them know that there is plenty to feel good about – global industry and cutting-edge innovation, thriving entrepreneurship, world-class universities, and a vibrant arts and culture scene.”
“Our Backyard TV” grew out of the Foundation’s “Rhode Island: It’s All In Our Backyard” campaign, which launched last year. As one of the campaign’s original media partners, Cox has already aired hundreds of 30-second public service announcements touting Rhode Island success stories, according to a Rhode Island Foundation release.
The new television series aims to encourage viewers to share their own success stories on the “It’s All In Our Backyard” website at http://ourbackyardri.com/ and on social media, to provide potential future content for the channel.
“We’re always looking for story ideas about all the great people and places right here in our backyard,” said Steinberg. “We’re ready to spread the good news about Rhode Island and the amazing things that are happening right here.”
Funding for the initiative comes from the Rhode Island Foundation, the Rhode Island Commodores, Delta Dental of Rhode Island, and the Victor and Gussie Baxt Fund. Companies contributing advertising space, time and other services include Brown University, Channel 6, Channel 10, Channel 12, Clear Channel Media, the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Providence Performing Arts Center and the R.I. Airport Corporation.