April Ross buys TV station in LaGrange
LAGRANGE, Ga. (WTVM) - She started out her journalism career using a cell phone and Facebook Live. Now, April Ross, of LaGrange, owns a TV network.
In January 2017, Ross stepped unto her very first news scene as a digital reporter.
Using only her cellphone and Facebook Live, Ross informed the community about a Troup County deputy being shot. ”I put my background in journalism, a degree to use and I realized that day that’s what our area needed,” Ross said.
But making the decision to go to the scene that day wasn’t April’s doing.
“A young lady, who I encouraged all the time, was on the scene that day and she picked up the phone and said, ‘Ms. April, you’ve got to go.’,” Ross recalled.
That’s how BeeTV’s journey began. That one scene propelled April into a platform of her own. She, then, started showing up in the community with her cellphone in hand.
“We just kept going around and building our following - just simply putting people’s stories out their live,” Ross said.
A big following indeed. To date, April Ross BeeTV’s Facebook page has nearly 15,000 fans.
“After the years begin to go on, I just realized Facebook is good, but it’s got to be something else,” said Ross.
There was a major opportunity she was about to embark upon that started with a phone call from a local TV station owner.
“He said, ‘I know you do Facebook live. Can you fill in for me?’, " Ross stated.
After making an appearance on WJCN’s morning show, Ross recalled:
“My husband said when it went off he was like there was nothing on the station. He said, ‘Ask him if he wants to sell it.’ I said, ‘We can’t buy that.’ and he said, ‘You’re always saying, ‘but my God’ and I do.’ ”
She did exactly as her husband said to do and the response she received from the owner was astounding. “He started to cry and said, ‘I’ve not even told my wife this, but it’s like an elephant being pulled off my chest.’ ”
Three years ago, April and husband started the process of purchasing the station, but it wasn’t an easy task. “We started to hit roadblocks and I had to cut back and get into prayer and God’s silence to me was to keep on going.”
The roadblocks turned into frustrations, leading to things being put on hold.
“I wasn’t devastated. I knew that they would call me back. Six months went by and, out of nowhere, the previous owner called me and said, ‘Are you still interested in this station?’ "
She and her husband signed off on the deal recently and renamed the station BeeTV.
“Don’t ever give up on yourself. I don’t care what it looks like. It was crazy for me to go out with, literally, a cellphone, but it’s not crazy no more. It’s an actual network,” Ross said.
BeeTV Network can be seen 24 hours a day with various shows on Spectrum Cable.
Viewers can watch from Peachtree City all the way to Selma, Alabama.
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