In the beginning, there was New Bern Now.
Started by Wendy Card, a retired Navy Corpsman who saw a need for positive news and information about the New Bern community. During its first decade, New Bern Now has branched into a website, a Podcast, and a quarterly magazine called The Ledger.
In 2017, long-time journalist and Marine Corps veteran Randy Foster started New Bern Post, a hyper-local, micro-focused news website dedicated to covering New Bern.
Card and Foster, who have known each other for years, got together and agreed to support one another’s efforts. New Bern Now, the Ledger, the Pod Squad, and New Bern Post began a fledgling cooperative, sharing content and assisting in coverage, while retaining their unique identities.
In early 2018, Charles Tendell, an Army veteran and host of The Charles Tendell Show, a national radio program focused on technology, started turning his attention to New Bern, interviewing local influencers for his radio program.
Tendell joined with Card and Foster and coined the name, New Bern Live.
Since then, New Bern Live has grown to include CityTalk with Sabrina Bengel, a downtown businesswoman and city alderman, and Lee Bettis, a lawyer and former mayor of New Bern; All About Craven with Steve Tyson, a community leader, real estate broker, and local historian; Angelina Doyle, a former Marine and executive director for New Bern Civic Theatre; and Keith Boyd, a New Bern native and residential real estate appraiser who is heavily involved in New Bern Civic Theatre.
Via radio partner WNOS 103.9 FM and 1450 AM, New Bern Live also includes radio simulcasts of New Bern Live programming and the quirky MORONS (Men on Radio Offering Nonsensical Solutions) program. ESPN Radio 104.3 FM and 1490 AM, meanwhile, provides in-depth coverage of local sports.
Between these, New Bern Live is a comprehensive group of locally owned, produced, and focused outlets for news and information, including three websites, numerous Facebook pages, four radio programs, three community access cable TV programs, a weekly Podcast, and a quarterly print magazine.
And none of these are answerable or beholden to corporate shareholders, investors or management from outside New Bern.
Another thing that makes New Bern Live unique, not just in New Bern but perhaps anywhere, is its community participation. Never was this more evident than during Hurricane Florence in September 2018.
As local TV shifted operations to South Carolina studios due to flooding, and the local newspaper stopped printing for three days, corporate-owned media coverage of Craven County nearly shut down during the storm.
But New Bern Live was busier than ever. Some New Bern Live members defied the mandatory evacuation order and were in their vehicles rescuing flooded residents, delivering food and water, and assisting wherever they could. They took calls and emails from flood victims and referred them to the resources that they needed. Many New Bern Live members were active participants in the Craven Rangers group of volunteers assisting in hurricane recovery efforts.
At The Charles Tendell Show studio on Middle Street in downtown New Bern, groups, organizations and government representatives were interviewed for hours on end about the storm and recovery efforts, all live-streamed on Facebook.
New Bern Post also kicked into high gear, posting hundreds of articles, photos, videos, statistics, and survival information on its website, on its own Facebook page, and via Twitter before, during and after the hurricane, at all hours of the day.
New Bern Live was able to do all this because it is a living, growing, thriving group of participants who care about New Bern, which is where we live and work. We are focused on our community, not on profit margins, shareholder dividends, and corporate “best practices” that have led to newsroom layoffs.
If you are interested in supporting New Bern Live, there are several ways:
- Become a Patreon sponsor.
- Visit our standalone websites and read our articles, New Bern Post, New Bern Now, and New Bern Live
- Request our brochure