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Eric Olson retires; ACPL launches 21Country archive

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - After three decades of sharing stories from across the ABC21 viewing area, Eric Olson signed off Friday afternoon and will begin a new journey -- into retirement.

But his tales will be told for years to come.

The Allen County Public Library has begun a process that will archive hundreds of Olson's signature "21Country" reports as part of its digital collection.

The partnership with the television station will provide a new audience for the work, much of which can be accessed as well at

A landing page on the library website is up and running and content will be added to build up the archive.

The 21Country franchise itself will live on with new stories to be produced on an indefinite basis.

Anchors Brien McElhatten and Krista Miller will contribute reports and the station expects to hire an additional reporter who will focus on the interesting people, places and history of northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio.

Olson's sign-off caps a 40-year career in broadcast journalism -- three-quarters of which was spent at ABC21.

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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