A new fiscal year began for WTVP last month, and with it comes new leadership. At its July 9 meeting, P. Joseph O’Neill stepped down after three exceptional years as chairman of the Illinois Valley Public Telecommunications Corporation. Wayne Baum, Chairman of the Board of CORE Construction Group, was elected Chairman. Serving with him on the Executive Committee are: Andrew Rand - Vice-Chair, Jon Burklund – Secretary, Henry Allovio, Jr. – Treasurer, and At Large – Steve Backlund, Cynthia Fischer, and Joe Strupek. I was again given the privilege of managing WTVP and will continue as President & CEO.
While I look forward to working with the new Board leadership, I would be remiss if I did not mention how much I enjoyed working with Joe O’Neill and how important he was to the survival of the station. The chairman’s term on our Board is usually a two-year gig, but we prevailed on Joe to remain for another year. Few people off the Board will know the hours, the effort and the encouragement he gave us to resolve the long term debt issues, and being the humble, work below-the-radar kind of person he is, he would be unhappy if I went into any detail. Suffice it to say, he contributed greatly of his time, talent and treasure, and we are all beneficiaries of his generosity.
The auditors are scheduled to begin their review of our FY 2009 books later this month. One thing I’m sure they will find is that June was an exceptional month that helped us finish the year in a healthy and balanced financial situation. The credit for that goes to you, the members of WTVP. Thank you.
Finally, the new fall schedule of programs from PBS arrived recently along with video previews of several series. The big name project is Ken Burns’ The National Parks: America’s Best Idea that you’ll be reading about over the next two months, but there are several other series and specials that will remind you why you support Public Television. Watch especially for The Retirement Revolution: The New Reality and Note By Note: The Making of Steinway L1037. And locally, watch for new programs from Illinois Adventure and Interesting People with Ed Sutkowski.