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Television has the power to change lives. Public television has the responsibility to change lives for the better: a child far from urban resources is inspired to become a scientist, a high school dropout earns a GED, a homebound senior citizen remains connected to the world of arts and culture, the family of an Alzheimer’s patient finds strength and support. UNC-TV’s unique programs and public media services provide people of all ages with enriching, life-changing television. — The UNC-TV Mission Statement
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Operating Highlights: Fiscal Year 2011-2012
The citizens of North Carolina continued to demonstrate strong support for UNC-TV and public television, despite uncertainty about the future of federal and state funding. In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, UNC-TV raised $10,983,790 from private sources. This was an 11 percent increase over the previous year. UNC-TV’s membership base increased 2.4 percent, the first membership increase in ten years. Individual viewer support reached an all-time record high, totaling $8,618,723.
North Carolinians expressed strong support for the value of public television in the prestigious Elon public policy survey released in November 2011. The survey revealed an extremely positive public view of UNC-TV and public television in North Carolina with 77.7 percent stating that UNCTV’s service is either “very important” or “important” to the state. Some 60 percent of North Carolinians say they watch UNC-TV “often” or “sometimes,” with only 13.5 percent saying they “never” watch UNC-TV; and when asked if they support continued state funding of UNC-TV, only 13.2 percent said they “oppose” or “strongly oppose” continued state funding.
On September 20, 2011, UNC-TV’s twelfth station, WUNW-TV, began operating at full power from its newly constructed facility atop Chambers Mountain near Clyde, North Carolina. WUNW-TV provides the first fullpower public television service to viewers in the towns of Canton, Waynesville, Clyde, Lake Junaluska, and surrounding areas.
During 2011-2012 UNC-TV and its partners developed and produced 340 hours of programming for and about North Carolina, including North Carolina Weekend, Biographical Conversations, North Carolina Now, North Carolina People with William Friday, Our State, Exploring North Carolina, Rembrandt in America, Birth of a Colony, and many more. UNC-TV is the presenting station for 206 hours of programming currently being distributed nationally through PBS, APT, and NETA.
UNC-TV hosted a democratic candidates gubernatorial debate before the May primary election. Candidates responded to probing questions intended to help define each candidate’s views on issues.
UNC-TV’s highly successful partnership with the North Carolina Center for Voter Education also continued, with 109,362 unique visitors to the North Carolina Voter Guide Web site leading up to the May 8 primary elections. This compares with 72,000 unique visitors in the 2010 general election.
UNC-TV once again enjoyed an extremely successful collaboration with Marbles Kids Museum on a joint exhibit at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh. The exhibit was strongly oriented toward families and children, featuring interactive games provided by the museum, along with Read-a-roo’s Story Time, costumed characters from public television children’s programs, and much more.
In FY12 UNC-TV provided 26,352 hours of programming over its three digital broadcast channels, as well as an additional 8,784 hours of programming over its digital channel UNC-MX. Programming highlights for the year included PROHIBITION, NOVA The Fabric of the Cosmos with Brian Greene, PBS Arts Give Me the Banjo, and Masterpiece Classic Downton Abbey II.
UNC-TV participated in the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s American Graduate project, collaborating with Communities in Schools of North Carolina, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, and WUNC radio to help local communities across the state address the dropout crisis. Through five large community events, 15 workshops, and informal meetings with other groups, UNC-TV reached more than 60,000 people in person. Through promotional efforts, close to 200,000 people in North Carolina are more aware of the dropout situation in the state and where to turn for help.
UNC-TV received and installed equipment for the implementation of the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS). The equipment allows PBS stations to broadcast emergency alert data for use by cellular service providers to provide emergency alert messages to subscribers. IPAWS is part of the Warning, Alert, and Response Network Act (WARN Act) that was enacted by Congress following Hurricane Katrina.
UNC-TV created a free mobile application that teaches children how to grow and prepare nutritious food in their virtual garden.
UNC-TV won a 2011 NETA Award honoring North Carolina’s WWII Experience. UNC-TV was one of only seven public media outlets nationally to be honored with a NETA content production award.
At its annual meeting in June, 2012 the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters (NCAB) inducted UNC-TV Director and General Manager Tom Howe into the NCAB Hall of Fame, in recognition of his more than 40 years of distinguished service in public television.