WTVP - President & CEO
April 2008 - You did it! You saved WTVP.
Photo of WTVP Retired CEO MChet Tomczyk
Chet Tomczyk
Chet Tomczyk - President & CEO, (retired 2014)

You did it! You saved WTVP.

Thanks to the generosity of more than 6,400 households in Central Illinois, we had sufficient resources in hand to settle the long term debt issue with Bank of America and Commerce Bank on February 27 - one day before the deadline. We are grateful to all of you and we are committed to providing the top-notch programming and services for a long time to come.

There were a lot of numbers tossed around during the Save Our Station campaign, and you almost need to be a banker to have them all make sense. Here it is in a nutshell. On July 1, 2007, we owed the banks about $8.3 million in long term debt. On September 1, we paid $1.35 million to get a forbearance period to keep the station running until January 15, to continue negotiations and raise more money. This reduced the total long term debt to $6.95 million. Further negotiations ultimately reached a mutually agreeable $5.25 million settlement number. The banks would discount the amount due and we would have to scramble to find the money. This is how that amount was raised.

National City Bank granted us a $1,250,000 mortgage. IFF, an organization that makes loans to not-for-profits, granted us a $750,000 mortgage. SOS pledges that come due after March 1 allowed us to get a $1,650,000 "bridge loan" from National City Bank, cashing in our endowment funds, matching gifts from Caterpillar from the SOS pledges, and major contributions from Glen and Polly Barton and others raised the remaining $1,600,000 in cash. So, $1,250,000 + 750,000 + 1,650,000 + $1,600,000 = $5,250,000.

Save Our Station Logo
The Save Our Station Logo

What we are left with is $2,000,000 in mortgages and the bridge loan that will be quickly retired by the Save Our Station pledges that are being paid now. You can easily see that YOU made the difference. Without your pledges there would be no matching gifts, no bridge loan, no WTVP. You really did save the station. Thank you.

During the process over the past three months there were many, many ups and downs. From scurrilous personal attacks to heart-warming stories of how much WTVP means to individuals, it was an experience. Through it all there was the rock solid leadership of our Board of Trustees and our Chairman, Joe O'Neill, the professionalism and commitment of our staff, and the loyalty of our viewers and contributors. It is something I will never forget.

Chet Tomczyk
President & CEO, WTVP (Retired)

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