RI Foundation, Cox Communications team up for ‘Our Backyard TV’


The Rhode Island Foundation and Cox Communications recently announced the launch of “Our Backyard TV,” where Rhode Islanders can find good news about their state 24 hours a day.

Cox subscribers can tune into “On Demand” channel 1891 to watch stories about Rhode Islanders like Armando Nieves, a small businessman who owns neighborhood butcher shops in Pawtucket and Providence, and Brown University scientist Jeff Morgan, who invented a 3D Petri dish that is manufactured in Cranston and sold around the world.

“Business leaders told us that the state’s self-esteem problem is holding us back. In order to change the way Rhode Islanders talk about our state, we’ve got to let them know that there is plenty to feel good about – global industry and cutting-edge innovation, thriving entrepreneurship, world-class universities and a vibrant arts and culture scene,” said Neil Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO.

The partnership grew out of the Foundation’s “Rhode Island: It’s All In Our Backyard” campaign, which launched last year. As one of the campaign’s original media partners, Cox has already aired hundreds of 30-second PSAs touting the state’s many success stories.

“Rhode Island is a great place to live and work,” said John Wolfe, senior VP and GM of Cox Communications. “The ‘Our Backyard’ channel showcases the best Rhode Island has to offer and Cox is proud to be able to help spread the word.” 

Among the other stories currently airing on “Our Backyard TV” are a look at how farmers’ markets and rooftop herb gardens are feeding the growing farm-to-table movement and a report on how Titanic discoverer Bob Ballard is turning the University of Rhode Island into Mission Control for the oceanography industry.

The series also encourages viewers to share their own success stories on the campaign’s website at ourbackyardri.com and on Twitter and Instagram using @ourbackyardri. The Foundation hopes the suggestions become a consistent source of new content going forward.

“We’re always looking for story ideas about all the great people and places right here in our backyard. We’re ready to spread the good news about Rhode Island and the amazing things that are happening right here,” said Steinberg.

Backyard’s funding comes from the Foundation, the R.I. Commodores, Delta Dental of R.I. and the Victor and Gussie Baxt Fund at the Foundation. In addition to Cox, a host of other companies, including Brown University, Channel 6, Channel 10, Channel 12, Clear Channel Media, the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Providence Performing Arts Center and the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, have donated advertising space, time and other services.

The Foundation worked in partnership with Basics Group and MYRANDA Group as creative and communications consultants on the campaign.

Backyard is an outgrowth of the Foundation’s economic development initiative, Make It Happen RI, which brought together hundreds of private sector and community leaders to brainstorm ways to jumpstart the state’s economy.

Supported through the Foundation’s Civic Leadership Fund, Make It Happen RI recently released 21 recommendations for creating jobs and growing industries, including promoting the talent pipeline, increasing the impact of the state’s competitive advantages and building the business ecosystem.

More information about Cox Communications, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, is available at www.cox.com and www.coxmedia.com.

For more information on the Rhode Island Foundation, visit www.rifoundation.org.


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