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Message from the General Manager

Rus Peotter, WGBY General ManagerThe days continue to shorten and the thermometer is still heading downward, but there is much to be pleased with this November. First, the great programming we’ve had this season continues this month. If you’re a fan of earth science you’ll enjoy Earth’s Natural Wonders and then be awed by NOVA: Making North America. If the human side of American history is your interest, Debt of Honor, a program telling the stories of disabled veterans, will be screened in Northampton and then broadcast everywhere. And if you’re of a certain age, while it may be hard to believe, it’s been 50 years since the day in Stockbridge which inspired “Alice’s Restaurant”. Arlo Guthrie celebrates that anniversary with a special concert recorded at The Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield.

Also this month, the New England Chapter of Television Arts and Sciences will convey its Gold and Silver Circle awards to television professionals who have made significant contributions to their community and the television industry. One WGBY staffer fits that description beautifully and we are truly pleased that Jim Madigan will be joining this distinguished group this month. Jim is almost an institution in western New England. His skill as a moderator is only exceeded by his vast knowledge of the region, particularly of its politics and personalities. On set, Jim brings as deep an understanding of the issues to be discussed as the interviewee or participant. But probably most extraordinary is that he uses that knowledge not to impress, but build the context for answers that his viewers will understand and appreciate. It is
a truly remarkable skill that he has honed over decades. I hope you join us in congratulating Jim on this prestigious award.

Finally, one thing will change this month. We have had no on-air fundraising since the end of June and at the end of November, we begin what we hope will be our one major fund drive for the year. Our goal will be ambitious and if we succeed, we will virtually eliminate on-air fundraising for the rest of our fiscal year. It can be a remarkable accomplishment for WGBY and a precedent for the country. But it will take a lot of participation from a lot of people. We’ll have great programming, lots of local people in our studio and we hope we can signal a new era in public media fundraising.

November is a big month. Are you ready?

Russell Peotter, signature

Russell J. Peotter
General Manager