Rhode Island PBS is launching a weekly news show tonight

The new show has a star-studded cast with a lot of familiar faces

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Happy Wednesday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and here’s a reminder to thank a veteran today. Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 38,798 confirmed coronavirus cases on Tuesday, after adding 701 new cases. The most recent overall daily test-positive rate was 7.5 percent, and the first-time positive rate was 23.3 percent. The state announced four more deaths, bringing the total to 1,237. There were 218 people in the hospital.


Rhode Island PBS is diving head first into the local news market tonight with the debut of its long-awaited weekly news magazine, complete with a star-studded team that includes several familiar faces.

The 30-minute show, called “Rhode Island PBS Weekly,” will air at 7 p.m. and is hosted by former Channel 10 reporters Bill Rappleye and Michelle San Miguel. The executive producer is former “60 Minutes” producer Barbara Dury and the senior producer is Bartley Price, a former ABC News producer. Bill Bartholomew, who has burst onto the local news scene with a popular podcast in recent years, is a contributing reporter.

“What I hope for the broadcast is that we can really tell good stories about people in the community, stories that also broaden out and affect us all,” Dury said Tuesday.

The first episode features an in-depth story on racial justice as well as an interview with Rhode Island’s youth poetry ambassador. Scott MacKay from The Public’s Radio will also provide political commentary, presumably about last week’s elections.

Dury said the show won’t be quite like WCVB-TV in Boston’s “Chronicle” because it will focus on a variety of topics each week rather than a single issue, although she said it’s possible there will be weeks where the entire program could be dedicated to one subject. She said she hopes environmental issues and local politics will be among the focus areas.


Rhode Island PBS does air other local content, including the weekly public affairs program “Lively Experiment,” which is hosted by reporter Jim Hummel. But this is the station’s first direct foray into the competitive local television news landscape.

The project has been in the works for most of the year, and is one of the first significant investments Rhode Island PBS has made since it received more than $94 million from the sale of its television spectrum in a federal auction three years ago.

Finding a loyal audience won’t be easy, especially at a time when the news cycle seems to change by the minute. But the production level is expected to be high, and the PBS team hopes that the weekly show will allow reporters to step back from the day-to-day grind and tell bigger-picture stories.

“I always feel like if you tell good stories, eventually you build your audience,” Dury said.


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Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

⚓ BIRTHDAYS: Rhode Map readers, if you want a friend or family member to be recognized on Friday, send me an e-mail with their first and last name, and their age.

⚓ Governor Gina Raimondo is holding a virtual Veterans Day ceremony at 9 a.m.

⚓ Providence Business News is hosting its Business Excellence Awards online at 4 p.m.

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