Chris Flanery standing next to camera

New WOUB Producer/Director Chris Flanery is excited to tell the stories of the region

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ATHENS, OH – When Chris Flanery was hired as the producer/director at WOUB Public Media in June, he knew he had a lot to learn about the region the station serves. And Flanery jumped right in by finishing work on WOUB’s next Our Town documentary – Our Town: Chillicothe.

“While I’ve made a lot of documentaries in my career so far, I haven’t made too many historical documentaries, and tackling one with this much breadth and depth is an exciting challenge,” said Flanery. “I think there’s a perception that historical documentaries can be stuffy and boring, but as filmmakers we have so many tools at our disposal now to take our creativity through the roof. It’s exciting to use these tools to find creative ways to bring the past to life and better engage our communities.”

Flanery was born in Oklahoma, but grew up in Dayton, Ohio. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in film production from Wright State University and his Master’s in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Nebraska.

“I started my career while I was still in undergrad when I got my first professional freelance opportunity as a camera operator for a sporting event. That opened a lot more doors to the world of live broadcast sports, and I still occasionally freelance as a camera operator. I’ve shot for ESPN, Fox Sports, Big Ten Network, and the Minnesota Vikings to name a few,” said Flanery. “Before coming to WOUB, I worked in the video department at LexisNexis in Dayton, then had about a year-long stint as a videographer and editor for a startup in Los Angeles, and most recently spent the past seven years as a videographer and editor for Nebraska Public Media in Lincoln, Nebraska.”

Flanery says he enjoys working in public media because of its reputation for high-quality, thought-provoking storytelling.

“There’s a freedom in this job to not only pursue a wide variety of stories, but more importantly really flesh those stories out. I get to go out into the surrounding communities to meet and learn about interesting people, places, and things. With public media, we get the time to delve into these stories and tell them in a more thorough manner than some other places do. I also think we have more trust with the public, and that there’s an expectation that you’re probably going to learn something when you engage with public media.”

And Flanery knows there is a responsibility that WOUB Public Media has to shine a light on stories from a region that has largely been misrepresented.

“I’m excited for the opportunity to have a positive effect on this region of the state. This is an underserved region in a lot of ways and being able to go out and engage with all the different communities and tell their stories to better connect them with each other as well as the state as a whole feels massively important to me,” said Flanery. “There are a lot of interesting people and places in this area that deserve more of a spotlight, and the opportunity to provide one makes me proud of the work I’m doing.”


About Our Town

Our Town is a historical documentary series produced by WOUB Public Media and the Barbara Geralds Institute for Storytelling and Social Impact which aims to tell the unique creation stories of communities in the Appalachian region. Through the telling of this history, Our Town is building the collective story of the Appalachian region and developing an incredible sense of place and purpose to inspire residents to continue building on the past to create a stronger future.