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Inside Appalachia Names New Co-Hosts


Inside Appalachia, an award-winning program on WEKU that shines a light on all things Appalachia, now has two new voices. Caitlin Tan and Mason Adams made their debut as co-hosts on  November 22nd.

Caitlin Tan hails from a rural mountain town in western Wyoming where she grew up ski racing, showing horses in 4-H and moving cows in the high mountain deserts. It was there she discovered her love for journalism as an intern for the local newspaper. She graduated from the University of Wyoming with a B.A. in journalism. She has worked for Wyoming Public Media and spent a summer as a fisheries reporter in Bristol Bay, Alaska, the international sockeye salmon capital, working for KDLG, the local NPR-affiliate station. She was a solo correspondent based in Naknek, a Native village of 500 people. She also served as a news assistant for NPR’s All Things Considered in Washington, D.C., before joining the WVPB team as our Folkways reporter where she works every day to get a new generation engaged with Appalachian folklife and culture.

"To me, the people and the landscape of Appalachia are one-of-a-kind. They’ve both seen hardship but are incredibly strong and willing to persevere," Tan said. "Whether it’s listening to folks share with me their stories and family traditions or exploring the mountains and endless trails of Appalachia, I’m incredibly moved and honored to be a small part of it all."

Mason Adams grew up near the Virginia/West Virginia border in Clifton Forge, Virginia. He joined the WVPB team as a part of its first Inside Appalachia Folkways Reporting Corps and has brought listeners stories about a regional "dinosaur kingdom" and restoring vintage vehicles. He has a degree in wildlife biology from the University of Rhode Island, but after a couple of years working out west, he became a journalist and moved back to Appalachia in 2001. Since then, he’s covered mountain communities and the issues affecting them. He's written for the Enterprise Mountaineer in western North Carolina and the Roanoke Times in western Virginia before going freelance in 2012. His work has appeared in Southerly, Daily Yonder, 100 Days in Appalachia, Mother Jones, Huffington Post and elsewhere.

"I’ve spent countless hours listening to Inside Appalachia while doing farm chores over the last several years," Adams said. "I love how the show captures such a broad spectrum of stories from people across the region, while emphasizing our shared community by putting a regional frame around them. As a reporter who’s covered people in Appalachia for nearly two decades, I look forward to building on that powerful legacy and engaging with the show’s listeners."

The transition to the new team will begin with the Nov. 22 episode, which will feature both hosts. Thereafter, they will take turns hosting the show and join forces for special episodes.

Inside Appalachia is produced by West Virginia Public Broadcasting and airs Saturdays at 6 a.m. and Sundays  at 7 p.m. on WEKU.

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