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Message from the General Manager

Rus Peotter, WGBY General Manager I am writing this message the day after the mid-term elections when everyone is thinking and talking about the results. And frankly, there is a lot to consider.

Locally, with the defeat of Question 3, construction of the MGM casino will begin just
a few blocks from the WGBY studio in downtown Springfield. There will be many impacts; and
we hope they will build on the momentum downtown, such as the new Springfield Central Cultural District, and the opening of the UMass Springfield Center.

At the State level, we’ll have a new Governor and thus a new relationship with the Legislature. The Pioneer Valley is fortunate to be well represented with many experienced and responsive members in both the House and Senate. In January, we’ll be especially pleased that Senator Stan Rosenberg will take on the role of Senate President.

But changes in Congress will probably be most profound. With a Republican majority in the Senate, there will be many changes in leadership. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised a return to a more traditional appropriations process. That’s good because the committee which deals with public media will be chaired by Senator Thad Cochran of Mississippi, a longtime advocate for literacy, education and public media. However, elsewhere in appropriations there may be renewed calls for the end of
public funding for public media.

So, forgive me if I take this opportunity to ask you to look back just a few weeks at some of the programs I hope you saw on WGBY. Did you see Carolee McGrath’s remarkable Connecting Point segment on the even more remarkable Springfield SciTech Band? Did you catch any of the moving stories on our Veterans Coming Home series or special? I hope so. These were just a few of the powerful local stories we told last month. Your support sustains WGBY, but it was two relatively small investments from The Corporation for Public Broadcasting that enabled them for national impact. That is the “public-private partnership” we often use to describe public media.

Something to remember in the months ahead.

Thank you for making it possible!

Russell Peotter, signature

Russell J. Peotter
General Manager