‘My Heart Will Always Be in
10 years on TV with new programs
Production Company will celebrate 10 years of production of "My Heart
Will Always Be in Carolina" with the release of a new series of
programs on UNC-TV beginning this month.
of the new programs for this year are good, but I believe several of
them may be some of the best we have ever produced," said Ken Mann,
executive producer for the series.
program first aired in the spring of 2000, and they continued once each
week on Sunday mornings, on WGNT-TV out of Hampton Roads, Va.
as now, the topics were about the people, places, and things of the
Outer Banks and northeastern North Carolina. Mann and his crew have
recorded well over 100 episodes, and he says every week viewers e-mail,
send letters, or stop him on the street to give him ideas for another
the program moved to WSKY-TV 4 and has continued to grow from
the program is broadcast more than 20 times per week on 17 commercial
and public TV stations, 11 of which are part of the UNC-TV network,
carrying the program from the mountains to the coast of North Carolina
and into parts of Virginia, Tennessee, and South Carolina.
Heart Will Always Be in Carolina" is not just another weekly TV show,
the producer says. Each program is like a mini-documentary and is
preserving for future generations a part of life in northeast North
programs have served other important purposes in addition to the
broadcasts. A tour on the Dismal Swamp Canal was used to encourage
Congress to continue funding for the waterway. A program about the
Newbold White House in Hertford is used to train volunteers who work at
the historic site. A segment in a program about Swan Days on Lake
Mattamuskeet was used to raise public awareness about the need to
restore the pumping station. Educators use the programs for teaching
about subjects that are not always found in school books, such as where
softshell crabs come from and the list goes on. When the late Captain
Wayland Baum of Wanchese was on the show, he was the oldest living
lighthouse keeper in America. Before he passed away, Pete Hampton of
the Hampton Fish Company gave Ken and his viewers a first-hand account
about North Carolina’s great herring fishing industry that has
all but disappeared.
economic impact on the communities that have been featured in the show
has never been measured, but in some cases it is believed to be
Mitchell Thomas in the Chowan University Office of Development said the
number of people who attended the Murfreesboro Watermelon Festival
increased from 15,000 to 30,000, the year after the festival was seen
on "My Heart Will Always Be in Carolina."
Jones with the Washington Waterways Commission in Plymouth says he can
always tell when any of the programs about the town or the Roanoke
River are on TV because he always gets phone calls and e-mails from
people interested in visiting the area.
program has been recognized over the years with the prestigious
Communicator Award for a show taped while sailing the Elizabeth II, and
most recently in 2009, with a MarCom Award for a program produced about
the Lost Colony and the Waterside Theater that focused on the history
and contributions of the people of the Outer Banks to the outdoor drama.
director of photography for "My Heart Will Always Be in Carolina" is
Bob Boyer. Boyer has been involved with almost every episode of the
show. He is an award-winning videographer who retired to the Outer
Banks after a career with NBC. He worked on the “Today”
show and in the Washington, D.C., news bureau of NBC.
credits Boyer with giving the show a professional look right from the
beginning. Mann’s background was in radio. When the idea came up
to start the show, Mann said he knew what he wanted to do, but did not
know how to do it. His nephew, Will Glenn, also with NBC, told him that
Boyer was retiring to the Outer Banks. Mann started looking and finally
met Boyer when they ran into each other while taping at the Native
American PowWow on Hatteras Island.
"Bob understood what I wanted to do, and most importantly, he knew how
to do it."
Mann family has also been an integral part of the program over the
years. Paula Mann, Ken’s wife, is responsible for working with
the sponsors and underwriters for the show and is in charge of
accounting. As his sons Omie and Rex were growing up, they also helped,
traveling to the different locations with the production crew, moving
equipment and sometimes appearing in the shows.
with the many changes in technology, Coastal Production Company has
stayed on the cutting edge. The very first programs were produced in a
digital format at a time when many TV stations and production companies
were still working with analog tape. All of the shows since 2008 have
been produced in wide-screen high definition.
Over the years, the cost of producing the program has been paid for
almost exclusively by the private business sponsors and underwriters.
Some of the sponsors you see on the show today helped sponsor the very
first broadcast 10 years ago. Since production began in high
definition, the UNC-TV network has also contributed to the cost of
of the new programs scheduled for this year are about the history of
surfing in North Carolina, riding five North Carolina ferries in one
day, the purple martin roost at the Manns Harbor Bridge and the Wings
Over Water program, the North Carolina Lions VIP tournament, the
largest fishing tournament for the blind in the world, a tour of
Hatteras with two of the Island natives, and the arts of the Albemarle.
The first broadcasts of the new series of programs will begin on
Sunday, April 4, at 6:30 p.m. on UNC-TV. A complete broadcast schedule
is available on the company’s Web site, www.obxtv.com.
for the future, Mann says, "I have truly been blessed to be able to do
this type of work and particularly here on the Outer Banks and in
northeast North Carolina, because one of the great things about living
and working here is there will always be another story to
the Outer Banks, “My Heart Will Always Be in Carolina” can
be seen each week on WSKY-TV 4, UNC-TV HD, UNC Explorer, and OBTV 12.)