A New Year's Message from VPM President and CEO Jayme Swain
Dear VPM Friends:
Happy New Year! I hope that you and your loved ones were able to enjoy the holidays.
For me, the end of the year is an opportune time to recharge, reflect and plan ahead. I found it was particularly important to slow down and rest after another challenging and humbling year of attempting to find a sense of normalcy as the pandemic shifted, often in unexpected ways.
As we balanced life and work in 2021, the VPM team remained resilient and focused on serving our mission. With your generous support, we deepened our engagement in communities across Central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley and achieved many notable accomplishments. Together we:
- Provided trusted news and information on the critical issues facing our communities;
- Produced impactful documentaries, including “How the Monuments Came Down,” “Mending Walls,” “Charlottesville Inside-Out Special: Being the Change,” and “Alzheimer’s: What You Can Do" ;
- Prioritized making VPM a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace and continued our discussion series “Racism: Challenging Perceptions,” this time exploring the progress and promises made over the past year to address the history and impact of systemic racism on our communities;
- Developed instructional educational content , which was distributed online and over-the-air to support families managing at-home learning, particularly those without access to broadband;
- Continued popular VPM series “Legacy List with Matt Paxton,” “Untamed,” “Un-Wine’d” and “Virginia Home Grown" ;
- Piloted new series such as “Life in the Heart Land,” which looks at solutions being developed for the challenges facing rural communities;
- Played an essential role in supporting the Menuhin Competition Richmond 2021 , by creating, packaging and posting online over 100 competition-related videos, which garnered over 6 million views worldwide;
- Launched new podcasts such as “Seizing Freedom” and debuted the VPM + ICA Community Media Center ; and
- Aired live broadcasts of the Richmond Folk Festival 2021 and opening night of the Richmond Symphony on VPM Music.
As we look ahead to 2022, we’ll begin the year in style. The third season of “Legacy List with Matt Paxton” will premiere on January 10 at 9 p.m. and season 4 of “Un-Wine’d” on January 22 at 1 p.m. In addition, VPM News will have coverage of the General Assembly and Governor-elect Youngkin’s inauguration on January 15 and finalize preparations for the launch of our weekly newsmagazine program “VPM News Focal Point.” Meanwhile, the podcast team will launch season 2 of “Seizing Freedom” on February 1 and be putting the finishing touches on a true crime podcast series scheduled for spring.
To accomplish our ambitious vision, we are also exploring a new location for VPM’s Richmond headquarters. This new facility will enable us to modernize our operation so we can create and distribute content that matters most to our communities and be more accessible to the public.
This is an exciting and transformational time for VPM. We are grateful for your unwavering support, which motivates us every day to use the power of media to educate, entertain and inspire.
Thank you for making this important work possible. We could not do it without you, and we’re humbled that in this crowded media landscape, you choose VPM. We’re proud to serve you and your communities. Together, we can make a better tomorrow today.