This has been a year that we can take pride in together.
One example of our many triumphs this year has been our commitment to programs that showcase our region. While many public television stations across the country are eliminating their local programming, we remain dedicated to it, just as we have for more than 20 years. Community programming is what our station was founded on, and WQED continues to produce more local programming than any other PBS station in the country. Yes, it takes a commitment of our resources, but because you tell us local programming is important to you, we know it is the right thing to do.
We are proud to bring you 8 local shows, including our newest, conversation@WQED; a live, interactive discussion program hosted by our own Emmy Award-winning Michael Bartley. Viewers are able to interact with the host and guests of the show using social media in real time. conversation@WQED airs Wednesdays at 7:30pm.
Included in our returning local programs are Experience on Mondays; Horizons on Tuesdays; Pittsburgh 360 on Thursdays; 4802 on Fridays; and Filmmakers Corner on Saturdays.
We have newly acquired audiences from the great success of shows like Downton Abbey. This British-American period drama has consistently drawn an audience more than double the PBS primetime average.
WQED has several national productions in the works. We have been awarded a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to support production of August Wilson: The Ground On Which I Stand.
Rick Sebak is celebrating his 25th year with WQED with a number of new local and national specials, including Breakfast Special 2: Revenge Of The Omelets, which premieres on PBS stations across the country on Christmas Day.
While 2012 has not been easy, we were up for the challenge. As you can see, we have much to be proud of together.
Despite all the good we provide to our community, many still want to take away funding for this public asset. Threats to our funding are something we hear about every single year, but this time there are hard facts behind these threats. We want to clarify how much money the government spends to on public media:
- The funding for public television accounts for .00003% of the national budget
- The funding for public television and radio combined equals .0001% of the national budget
- The funding comes from tax payer dollars, not from money that the government "borrows"
We know that it seems like we always have our hand out; that we are constantly asking for contributions. But this is why your support during these times is critical. We must preserve what we have accomplished, but be bold in our future endeavors. Your support allows us to do both.