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Message from the General Manager

Rus Peotter, WGBY General ManagerHaving reached a certain age, I should be more prepared for Leap Year Summer. It has been happening since long before I was born. But once again, it crept up on me. Every four years, we get a summer that makes it particularly hard to just enjoy the sunny days and take some time to recharge. Leap Year Summer is chock full of extravaganzas and all the hype that surrounds them.

We’ll begin the month in Washington with A Capitol Fourth and then The White House: Inside Story. The holiday performances are a perennial favorite, and the new documentary gives a perspective few ever see. But the non-partisan fireworks will be replaced shortly after by shows in Cleveland and Philadelphia. As we have for decades now, PBS will offer the best and most complete coverage of both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. It will be led once again, by the most trusted team on television, Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff.

Politics and much of what will happen in the Olympics next month are pretty much the domain of adults. For many kids, especially younger ones, this summer isn’t really that different from others. We should remember, however, that summer is indeed different from the rest of the year. For a long time, educators have been concerned about the “summer slide,” especially for young people struggling a bit in school. Often, the progress made during the school year slips backward during July and August without the supporting environment of the classroom. This concern is a big reason why WGBY puts special effort into taking our educational content off the screen and into the community during the summer months. Those of you who contributed to WGBY on Valley Gives Day in May helped support our plans.

No matter what your age or interests, it does promise to be a particularly busy summer. Since July is the first month of a new fiscal year, we’ve got plans to complete and preparations to make in advance the new “season” in the fall. (Did I mention politics? Elections?) And, once again, it is your support that makes it all possible. Thanks!

Russell Peotter, signature

Russell J. Peotter
General Manager