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Local History

OPT's OzarksWatch Video Magazine Celebrates 200th Episode

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Photo Credit : Ozarks Public Television

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/opt-s-ozarks-watch-video-magazine-celebrates-200th-episode_53794.mp3

This month, Ozarks Public Television celebrates a milestone for its locally produced series “OzarksWatch Video Magazine:" 200 episodes. KSMU’s Theresa Bettmann spoke with one of the hosts of the show to learn more about why this series is still running strong after 14 seasons.

OzarksWatch Video Magazine began in the late '90s as a volunteer project between host Dr. Jim Baker and and the television services staff at then-Southwest Missouri State University. It's hosted by Dr. Baker and Dale Moore. The goal was to highlight and preserve the history and traditions of the Ozarks.

Baker says producers thought it would be fun to do a TV version of the magazine “OzarksWatch Magazine,” which was the model for the show. Baker says he never had any idea that the show would still be so popular after more than a decade.

“When we first started doing it, I think we did about 15 shows and it was part of the Ozarks Studies Institute. We thought it would kind be a nice thing to do a few shows. It got started and it kind of kept going, and kept going, and kept going, and ten years later, here we are,” Baker says.

Baker says the show is a “labor of love” and continues to enjoy his part in it. He says the Ozarks region is rich in history and culture, and that the area is always growing, making it dynamic.

“Part of the success of the show, I think, is it’s about local people. And so I think a lot of times people really like to learn more about where they live, and about the people that are around them. The one thing about the Ozarks that’s pretty nice is that there are a ton of interesting people with a lot of interesting stories,” says Baker.

Baker claims his role in the show is easy because he gets to ask the questions and "let really interesting people talk." He credits the show’s success to the hard work that goes on behind the scenes and to the people he and Dale Moore interview.

The 200thbroadcast featuring “Free Flowing: The Buffalo, America’s First National River” will air on February 10thand repeat on February 14th. OPT and KSMU are both part of Ozarks Public Broadcasting. For KSMU News, I’m Theresa Bettmann.