Washington State University's KTNW will resume production on the WSU Tri-Cities campus with a monthly public television series starting May 1 called In Steppe. Lucy Luginbill returns to KTNW to act as producer, host and writer. She is known for hosting the long-running series of regional short-form profiles called "Just a Minute."
"It's wonderful to produce a program that reflects this beautiful region," Luginbill said in a news release. "I'm working with a lot of old friends and meeting new ones in the process." The title, "In Steppe," refers to the large region east of the Cascades including the Tri-Cities. The shrub-steppe is a large, arid landscape that might look barren to the casual eye, but it is a rich habitat for a number of species of plants and animals. "This steppe is home to so many plants and birds and other animals. It deserves to be preserved and respected," Luginbill explained. "We decided to reflect both this region and its people. Along with studio interviews, we'll go afield to gather video stories. We're interested in good news: interesting stories that inspire the viewers we serve." Luginbill has been a TV personality in the Tri-Cities for more than 25 years. She also writes a column and a blog for the Tri-City Herald. She worked as KTNW producer from 1993 to 2006. KTNW Executive Producer Warren Wright said, "There are many stories to tell and there will now be a place for them on our program schedule. We couldn't be happier." In Steppe premieres at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 1, on KTNW-TV channel 31/cable channel 10. The inaugural program will be repeated Sunday, May 4, at 10 a.m. and at 7 p.m.