Exciting changes underway
By Norm Silverstein ~ Posted Wed, 07/01/2009 - 10:42am
Welcome to the first edition of my online letter. If you are a member of WXXI and received our former membership magazine, Station Signals, then you have also likely read through my letter each month.
We recently took a hard look at the magazine, evaluating how we could best serve our members while being the best stewards of the station's dollars. A change in the way we communicate with our members was inevitable as the cost of paper, printing and postage escalated over the years. We decided to streamline by reducing the number of pages and the number of copies, while still providing listings for our various television and radio services. In doing so we are not only being environmentally friendly, but fiscally responsible. Also, as more and more members come to this website for information and program schedules, we decided to make WXXI.org an even more compelling and comprehensive resource. As a member you will receive a copy of our new print edition this month, but will have to contact our membership department if you would like to keep receiving it in its printed form. Call (585) 258-0200 or e-mail [email protected] and let us know if you want to continue to have listings mailed to you, or if youâ€™d rather have us send them to you electronically (remember, this is a service for members of WXXI).
In the coming months, you can expect additional improvements and enhancements to WXXI.org. More robust e-newsletters for our broadcast services will be available, as well as an outstanding new PBS video player. You will also find more interactive features throughout the site as we look to engage more easily, more often, and in different ways. For example, by clicking the link below, you will be able to post a comment directly to me on this page while seeing what others have to say as well. The world of media is rapidly evolving, and WXXI has made a decision to invest in your online experience. I hope that WXXI.org will become a regular stop in your daily online activities.
Of course, we have not turned all our attention online. July has us producing three different television series as we are busy shooting season six of our national PBS health series, Second Opinion, and season two of New York Wine and Table. We continue to follow the Rochester Red Wings baseball team in Minor League -- a series we will be presenting nationally this fall. We will likewise continue to document the restoration of the Eastman Theatre as part of an upcoming special that will also help showcase Rochester throughout the country. We're also excited that WXXI is bringing StoryCorps to Rochester for the month of July, giving the public the opportunity to share personal stories with our community and nation (some will be air nationally on NPR, while many more will air locally on AM 1370 and WRUR). You will see the StoryCorps Mobile Booth parked downtown outside the Rundel Library. Be sure to listen to WXXI for more information about how you can participate, or visit our StoryCorps page for more information.
July also makes the beginning of a new fiscal year for WXXI. Almost every day, whether at an event or even at the grocery store, I am asked, "How is WXXI doing?" My answer is, despite reduced state and corporate support, we are actually faring better than most than most public broadcasting stations across the nation. We met our membership goal for the just-ended fiscal year, over $3 million, the largest single source of funding for WXXI. We are fortunate to be in a community that values public television and public radio as much as ours does â€“ one that understands what independent thought and a commitment to the arts and education can mean to a region.
Finally, I want to share the good news that WXXI was again recognized by Charity Navigator, the nation's premier charity evaluator, with their highest rating, four stars. Only 19% of charities and non-profits in the nation have received a four-star rating for two consecutive years. According to Charity Navigator, "WXXI Public Broadcasting Council consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way, and outperforms most other charities in America." We were proud of the statement that WXXIâ€™s ranking "demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust".
It is through your support that we are able to provide the Rochester community the programming and services that make a difference in so many lives. From news and arts to health and education, WXXI continues to be the trusted media resource for the Greater Rochester area. Thank you for your membership support and your belief in WXXI. And if you are not already a member, making a pledge online couldn't be easier. Simply click on the "Support WXXI" link at the very top of any page on our site and you will be quickly taken through the simple process of becoming our newest member.
I look forward to hearing your comments about the changes in the way we communicate with our members, viewers and listeners. Please accept my wishes for a pleasant and enjoyable summer!
WXXI President & CEO