Twin Cities Public Television set to launch Next Avenue
America is about to become home to the largest – and most diverse – older population in our nation’s history. Today, 89 million Americans are age 50 or older. In the next ten years, that population will increase by over 20 percent! This profound change will bring with it unprecedented challenges – and opportunities – for individuals, communities, and the nation as a whole.
To meet the challenges and unleash the potential of this age boom, Twin Cities Public Television (tpt), in partnership with American Public Television (APT) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), has created Next Avenue. Much as public television stations provide a trusted and unparalleled service for children, Next Avenue will hyper-serve America’s booming older population, helping them to navigate a new life stage. Having maintained a relationship with public television all their lives, it is only natural that this audience will turn to public broadcasting as a trusted source for information and community.
Fueled by three years of research and planning, Next Avenue has received $5 million in grants from The Atlantic Philanthropies, The General Mills Foundation, and the Medtronic Foundation to launch the content service.
Next Avenue will use three major platforms to disseminate information and perspective and to inspire people to take actions that will improve their lives after age 50. At the epicenter of this new service will be a major new website, nextavenue.org, which will be made available to public television stations at no cost to localize and co-brand. Next Avenue will work with existing producers and iconic APT and PBS series to use as the “big tent” – to reach millions of viewers each minute. Finally, Next Avenue will create events designed for use at local PBS stations to provide a high touch and high impact experience.
Next Avenue will focus its content in five key areas:
Health & Well-being: How do we maintain and improve fitness and remain vital as we age? What are the health trends that affect brain acuity and a positive attitude? How can we be healthy in mind, body and soul? This content provides the information and inspiration to help people define and achieve their realistic goals.
Money & Security: Media often portray older Americans as either affluent or as a financial burden on society. This dichotomy not only has the effect of polarizing public opinion, it also distracts from the real and diverse financial issues that affect the lives of older Americans. Next Avenue media will cover credible information on financial issues such as reverse mortgages, household downsizing, and health care needs in an engaging and accessible way.
Work & Purpose: Growing numbers of older Americans are delaying retirement, whether by choice or necessity. Next Avenue will provide resources that help older people make proactive decisions about their work lives; explore and pursue work and volunteer opportunities; make job transitions; connect with and learn from the experiences of other people following similar paths; and balance work and home life.
Living & Learning: Next Avenue will present readily accessible, diverse programming content that enables older people to continue to build their knowledge, participate in new learning opportunities, connect with others who have similar interests, take up an inter-generational activity, and/or cultivate a new skill.
- Caregiving: The potential need to care for parents, spouses, siblings and/or children makes this topic all the more complicated and important. Next Avenue will provide information, perspective, local and national resources and direct connections and advice that will help people navigate through this often difficult but also potentially fulfilling experience.
In what may be the largest and most far-reaching public media initiative in development today, Next Avenue is building a “public media tent” into which it is inviting other organizations who share the mission to serve older Americans. The National Institution on Aging, National Institutes on Health, National Council on Aging, Civic Ventures, Leading Age, and The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion – to name a few – all will be contributing partners to this new service.
Next Avenue is scheduled to launch in late 2011 or early 2012.