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New Staff Hires Integral for Network Growth Strategy

(NASHVILLE, TN — JULY 29, 2015) RFD-TV, “Rural America’s Most Important Network,” announced the expansion of the news department today with the appointment of new team members targeted to build RFD-TV’s momentum as an innovative leader in broadcast media. The new staff hires are “Phase II” of the network strategy to restructure and upgrade newsroom operations. “Phase I” of the strategy, introduced in April of 2015, included new state-of-the-art studios, upgraded technology platforms, new live production capabilities, and a fresh new look for RFD-TV’s news programs Market Day Report, Rural Evening News, rural America live, and western sports weekly.

“Our initial challenge was to build the right production environment. With our new sets, graphics, live capabilities and state-of-the-art infrastructure, we’ve accomplished that. But now, the challenge is to harness our new tools for maximum effect. Doing that means raising our production standards, in editorial, production, and promotion. We’ve added key people to our team to do just that. Look at it like this: First we acquired the machinery, and now we’ve got the people to fuel the machine and make our content roar.”

New team members include:

Gary Kanofsky, Chief Content Officer, and Executive Vice President of News: Kanofsky oversees of news for RFD-TV, including editorial, production and post-production, graphics, on-air promotion, engineering and staff development. A veteran of NBC, CNBC, Bloomberg, CBS, and Al Jazeera America, Kanofsky brings more than 35-years experience as a production executive, newsroom leader, and technologist.

Abby Powell Turpin, News Anchor: Turpin anchors RFD-TV’s weekly live news programs Market Day Report and Rural Evening News. Before joining RFD-TV, Turpin worked for CBS and NBC stations in Texas, Ohio, and Nebraska. Abby's broadcasting work has received numerous awards in the community, including an Emmy nomination for the broadcast she produced and co-anchored on the devastating tornado that tore through Beaver Crossing, Nebraska in 2014.

Casie Mason, News Anchor: Mason anchors RFD-TV’s weekly live news programs Market Day Report and Rural Evening News. Prior to joining RFD-TV, Mason worked for an ABC news affiliate in Indiana and reported at live entertainment and music events such as the 2013 and 2014 Country Music Awards.

David Mitchell, Director of Production: Mitchell currently oversees the production of special projects for RFD-TV. Mitchell brings almost 20 years of live television directing experience to RFD-TV. Before joining RFD-TV, Mitchell was a director for WCVB-TV, the ABC affiliate in Boston, Massachusetts where he directed the #1 rated early evening and late evening newscasts.

Mark Schardt, Senior Director: Mark currently oversees all live productions in the studio, including production crew, graphics, videos, and camera shots during MARKET DAY REPORT and RURAL EVENING NEWS. Prior to joining RMG, Schardt was senior director at WKRN ABC affiliate in Nashville, Tennessee. While at WKRN, he implemented all new equipment for daily newscasts through automation of the switcher and audio console. Schardt brings more than 10 years in production experience to RFD-TV, including various roles as camera operator, graphic designer, audio engineer, technical director, and master control operator.

Gil Mazur, Senior Producer, On-Air Promos: Mazur oversees the creation and production of the promotional spots that air on RFD-TV and FamilyNet. A six-time Emmy Award winner, Mazur is a veteran in production and marketing. Before joining RFD-TV, Mazur worked as a writer, producer, and marketing manager for ABC and NBC affiliates in Tennessee and Indiana.

Get a first hand look at RFD-TV's new talent online at rfdtv.com.

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About Rural Media Group, Inc. (RMG):

Rural Media Group, Inc. is the world’s leading provider of multimedia content dedicated to the rural and Western lifestyle. Reconnecting city with country, RMG is the parent company of RFD-TV, FamilyNet, RFD-TV The Magazine, and RFD-TV The Theatre. RMG networks (RFD-TV, RURAL TV, FamilyNet, and RURAL RADIO) are distributed into more than 100-million homes worldwide by DBS, telco and cable systems including DISH Network, DIRECTV®, Comcast, Verizon FiOS TV, AT&T U-Verse, Mediacom, Charter, Optimum, Brighthouse, Suddenlink, Time Warner, Cox, and more than 600 independent rural cable systems. Corporate headquarters and broadcast operations are in Nashville, Tennessee.


RFD-TV is the flagship network for RMG. Launched in December 2000, RFD-TV is the nation’s first 24-hour television network featuring programming focused on the agribusiness, equine and the rural lifestyle. Along with traditional country music and entertainment, RFD-TV programming includes Market Day Report, Rural Evening News, Western Sports Weekly, top rodeo events such as The American, and award-winning musical entertainment such as The Marty Stuart Show, Reno’s Old Time Music, The Molly B Polka Party, and Larry’s Country Diner.


Found exclusively on SiriusXM channel 147, is the agribusiness and western lifestyle channel for the U.S. and Canada. RURAL RADIO's program schedule revolves around original productions focused on agriculture, equine, hunting, fishing, western sports, and living the country life in small towns and ranches. Broadcast operations for the station are located in Nashville, Tennessee. The channel airs multiple exclusive series including Market Day Report, Rural Evening News, Western Sports Round Up, and reports from CME on Commodity Wrap. RURAL RADIO also carries live western sports including PBR bull-riding and PRCA rodeo events every weekend.


FamilyNet is America's trusted entertainment network dedicated to providing wholesome and responsible viewing choices for today's diverse family.

RFD-TV The Magazine:

RFD-TV The Magazine is the print-programming guide for the networks, which has attracted over 180,000 paid subscribers.

RFD-TV The Theatre:

RFD-TV The Theatre is a 2,000 capacity soft seat venue in Branson, Missouri where entertainment programming is produced and performed.

For more information, visit rfdtv.com, familynet.com, and ruralradio147.com.


Heather Huston, heather@rfdtvcom, (615) 296-9332

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