New Year's Predictions and Resolutions for 2009

The New Year is a time to make predictions and resolutions, so here’s my first one: I resolve that 2009 will be the year that WXXI makes its greatest strides in becoming the essential media resource for the Greater Rochester area.
 
With local newspapers and commercial media continuing to reduce coverage of important issues, WXXI will be the place for news and conversation about the topics that are vital to our community.
 
As the new administration takes office, WXXI will keep you informed about the changes sweeping Washington and the nation – and we’ll do it on radio, television and online.
 
Our news staff, along with our colleagues at NPR and PBS, will help you understand the current economic difficulties our nation is facing – and the proposed solutions.
 
We’ll support the Rochester arts and cultural community with the best in classical music and we’ll showcase local bands and events.
 
Your children can count on the best in educational television programs (we already have one of the largest audiences for children’s programming in the region).
 
WXXI will help you make the transition to digital broadcasting in February and we’ll be a source of trusted information.
 
We’ll work to expand the ways you can access our programs and services, whether you listen to traditional radio, stream our stations online through WXXI.org or i-Tunes, watch our programs on a television receiver or a computer monitor, download our podcasts or select our programs On-Demand on cable.
 
The need for our programs and services is greater than ever, but we also must acknowledge, so are the funding challenges.
 
As I write this letter, we are reeling from a proposed 50% reduction in state operating aid in the Governor’s proposed budget. While most of our funding comes from individual, corporate and foundation support, a cut of this magnitude is out of proportion to anything we’ve seen in decades. 
 
We’ll be working with the Governor’s Office and our state legislative delegation to try to reduce this to a manageable reduction. I hope you will support this effort and do what you can to keep our services strong.
 
Our Dialogue on Disability programs this month demonstrate just one of the ways that WXXI makes a difference. For the past seven years we’ve partnered with our friends at Al Sigl Center on this initiative designed to stimulate community dialogue about the perspectives and abilities of people with disabilities.
 
Fueling Dialogue on Disability: The Herman & Margaret Schwartz Community Series is programming, broadcast on WXXI-TV and AM1370 that delves into the lives of people with disabilities. I hope you have a chance to tune in to WXXI the week of January 11th to catch some of the great programs we have featured, especially the heartwarming story of Samuel Habib in Including Samuel (which is featured on the cover of this month’s publication). It is our hope that these programs make our community more aware of the many issues people with disabilities face, and appreciate their strength and accomplishments. (You can learn more about this initiative at WXXI.org/dod.)
 
Your support for WXXI makes special programming like this possible. Thank you. On behalf of all of us at your public broadcasting station, best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year!
 
Best regards,
Norm Silverstein, WXXI President & CEO
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