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AETN brings Arkansas Boomers Next Avenue website

Posted 24 May 2012

Expansive online initiative provides expertise from contributors, public media, trustworthy sources on aging

The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) has launched Next Avenue, an extensive PBS system website designed to meet the needs and the potential of the state’s 50-plus population.

America is in the midst of an age boom. The 50-plus population in America has grown from 74 million in 1999 to more than 99 million and is projected to reach 127 million in 2030. While this can partly be attributed to the sheer size of the boomer demographic, it is also partly due to a dramatic increase in longevity – at the beginning of the 20th century, life expectancy was 49 years. Today it exceeds more than 80 years.

In response to this dramatic change, Next Avenue was created to engage, inspire and inform the more than 100 million people who are transitioning into what many see as a new life stage in human development – a stage between young adulthood and “old old.” The website is tailored to be the most comprehensive, accessible, intelligent and thought-provoking daily stop for a growing audience planning for their “bonus years.”

AETN is one of 73 Next Avenue affiliates. When area users log on to, local information will be integrated within the site on the home page.

“AETN is very excited to be one of the first public media stations in the nation to be participating in Next Avenue,” AETN Executive Director Allen Weatherly said. “There is no doubt that this online portal will be extremely valuable for Arkansans, and we are thrilled that we will be able to join forces with Next Avenue to provide content specific for our state, in addition to programming from AETN.

"I strongly believe this is an invaluable addition to our ongoing mission in education at AETN, which is truly a place where learning never ends."

The Next Avenue website will provide visitors with in-depth content that the organization creates with its own editorial team, as well as information aggregated and commissioned from expert sources. The site focuses on topics people may experience differently because of their stage in life, including health, finances, work, leisure and caregiving.

The content comes from four major sources:

"Our experienced editorial team and the variety of contributors and content is designed to offer Next Avenue visitors new perspectives and ways of thinking about their futures," Judy Diaz, Next Avenue president, said. "The 50-plus demographic is huge, diverse and influential, and Next Avenue will give them the tools they need to enrich their lives and confidently plan for their futures."

Next Avenue is led by Twin Cities Public Television (tpt) in partnership with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), American Public Television (APT) and PBS stations nationwide.