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Wednesday, October 8, 2003
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WOUB-TV documentary on history of Marietta to air statewide on PBS stations

WOUBATHENS, Ohio -- "Opening the Door West: The Ohio Company of Associates," a new historical feature documentary from local public television station WOUB, takes an unprecedented look at the critical role that southeastern Ohio played in the U.S. government's first organized expansion westward following the American Revolutionary War. The documentary tells the story of the 48 men of the Ohio Company who, despite inhospitable conditions and other challenges, created a settlement in Marietta, Ohio, that they hoped would become a model city for the new West.

Co-produced by Shelburne Films of Reedsville, Ohio, and WOUB-TV, the documentary will air at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 16, on WOUB-TV. The following PBS stations will air the documentary on Oct. 16: WGTE, Toledo, and WVIZ, Cleveland, 8 p.m.; WNEO/WEAO, Youngstown/Akron, and WOSU/WPBO, Columbus/Portsmouth, 9 p.m.; WBGU, Bowling Green, 10 p.m.; WCET, Cincinnati, will air the documentary on Nov. 16 at 3 p.m.; and WPTD/WPTO, Dayton/Oxford, will air the documentary on Nov. 23 at 4 p.m. This is the first time a locally produced documentary will air on all PBS TV stations across Ohio.

The documentary reveals how the Ohio Company men tamed southeastern Ohio's thick wilderness through a combination of hard labor, ambition and political foresight. Shelburne Films brings to life the story of the Northwest Territory's first settlement through the experiences of those who lived it, including Revolutionary War veterans, women, Native Americans, African Americans and immigrant settlers.

"I am excited about this documentary because it shows the importance of this region of Ohio in America's history," said Mark Brewer, associate director and executive producer for telecommunications at WOUB Radio and Television. "When the citizens in this area see it, they're going to have a lot for which to be proud."

Besides reenactments and in-depth interviews with regional historians and authors, the documentary features computer-generated 3-D imagery showing how Campus Martius -- the Ohio Company's headquarters -- was carefully constructed by the Marietta settlers. Graphics also reveal recreated images of several nearby settlements, including Fort Harmar in Marietta and Farmer's Castle in Belpre. David Shelburne relied on historical floor plans, written descriptions, and drawings to create the 3-D images.

A preview and online press kit can be accessed online at: www.mariettaonline.com/ohiocompany

The Ohio University Telecommunications Center, a unit of the College of Communication, operates two television stations -- WOUB-TV/Channel 20 in Athens and WOUC-TV/Channel 44 in Cambridge; one cable channel -- WOUB II; and six radio stations -- WOUB-1340 AM, WOUB-91.3 FM, WOUC-89.1 FM, WOUH-91.9 FM, WOUL-89.1 FM and WOUZ-90.1 FM. The center, a trusted community resource, uses the power of noncommercial television, radio and other media, such as the World Wide Web, to enrich the lives of children and adults in southeastern Ohio, western West Virginia, and eastern Kentucky through quality programs and educational services that inform, enlighten, inspire, and entertain.

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Media Contact: WOUB Public Information Coordinator Olivea Oldham, (740) 593-4944

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