BPR names new arts journalist

Blue Ridge Public Radio (BPR) continues to invest in the development of local programming and content with the hiring of Matt Peiken as the NPR station’s first Arts Producer.

Peiken, whose entire journalism career has concentrated in covering arts and culture, will produce segments for “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered,” and will develop a range of digital elements for BPR’s web and mobile platforms. He’ll also lay the groundwork for a new, weekly arts and performance showcase for BPR.

Earlier in his career, Peiken spent 10 years at the St. Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota writing profiles, opinion columns, and trend stories on visual, literary and performing arts. At WCPO Television in Cincinnati, Ohio, he produced videos and created podcasts for WCPO.com about area artists and cultural events. Returning to Minnesota, he created an independent online arts television series, “3-Minute Egg,” which he expanded into a weekly broadcast series on Twin Cities Public Television.  

Peiken has served as a regional editor for Patch.com, part of a national network of hyperlocal news sites. He was also the Managing Editor of the Walker Magazine, the bimonthly publication of the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis.

Blue Ridge Public Radio General Manager and CEO David Feingold said, “We like Matt’s willingness to take chances. Last year he experimented with a weekly, hour-long talk show interviewing Twin Cities artists from his car and video streaming it over Facebook Live.”

Feingold went on to say, “Matt is passionate about the arts and is a drummer in his own right. So, it wasn’t a surprise to learn that he also spent ten years as a contributing writer to Modern Drummer Magazine.” In 2015, Peiken founded, produced, and hosted Metal Braniac “the podcast for smart metalheads” that featured serious interviews with nationally renowned metal musicians.

Blue Ridge Public Radio and its two services, news and classical WCQS and BPR News, are Western North Carolina’s home for music and NPR journalism with its engaging, in-depth style of storytelling. Listeners can find BPR programming on the radio, www.bpr.org, and the BPR and NPR One apps. BPR and its translator stations serve more than 400,000 people in 13 counties. 

Blue Ridge Public Radio is funded by its listeners and local businesses and organizations. It is governed by an 18-member volunteer Board of Directors, with input from its Community Forum.

Go to top