In January 2014, New South Media launched “Turn This Town Around,” an economic development initiative. New South Media approached the WV Community Development Hub and WV Public Broadcasting to create a public/private/non-profit partnership. The purpose was to work with two West Virginia towns per year to identify challenges and assist with developing solutions.

In the inaugural round, more than 16,000 people voted and selected Matewan and Grafton as the first two winners from a pool of eight candidates. Grant-funded projects through the Benedum Foundation helped inspire ongoing change in the communities. TTTA held a second round in 2015 with more than 23,000 votes cast. Whitesville won in the under 1,500 population category, and Ripley of Jackson County won among the towns with a population more than 1,500- 6,000.