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Message from the General Manager

Rus Peotter, WGBY General ManagerBy now, I think you’ve probably heard about the results of our One Goal, One Drive, One WGBY campaign at the end of 2015. If so, you know that while we broke a record for a December membership drive, we did not reach the goal we set in order to eliminate all on-air fundraising for the rest of the fiscal year. (For the practical reasons of tallying the multiple ways support comes into WGBY at the end of the year, we don’t get a full picture until early January.)

Be assured: we are not giving up. We will figure out how we can evolve our fundraising to raise sustainable support for the programming and services you love in a manner that reflects how you and so many other people access video content today—although I will confess this is not an easy task.

Perhaps our One Goal, One Drive, One WGBY campaign was a bit ambitious. We did, however, learn a lot as we conducted the campaign. We confirmed that high-quality content, whether a documentary like The Pilgrims, a concert from Judy Collins in Ireland, or a multi-part series on cultural heritage, like The Italian Americans, will not only draw an audience, but an audience that will support as well. We were also strongly reminded that the way you find your programming—and when you decide to watch it—is very different compared to the way it was just a short time ago. Thus, we need to find
the time and resources to adequately promote our unique, quality content so that you will find it amongst the increasingly complex media landscape. Third, we learned we need to make it easy for you to support public television and deepen your relationship with WGBY. That may no longer mean simply adding DVDs, tickets, or books to sweeten a one-time deal. Finally, although there is a pressing urgency to raise the cash to sustain the station, we need to be thoughtful and persistent if not exactly “patient.”

Yes, I am somewhat chastened to say there will be additional on-air fundraising this fiscal year. That said, we are committed to doing it differently, doing it better, and doing it less frequently. If you have ideas or questions, do not hesitate to share them. From what I hear in the grocery store or on the street, you want us to succeed. So, please stay with us.

Thank you for all you do and have done already.

Russell Peotter, signature

Russell J. Peotter
General Manager