WTVP - President & CEO
July 2014 - Good News, Bad News
Photo of WTVP Retired CEO MChet Tomczyk
Chet Tomczyk
Chet Tomczyk - President & CEO, (retired 2014)

There's some good news and there's some bad news this month. So to misquote Bette Davis: "Hang on to your sets, it's going to be a bumpy ride."

Yes, "sets"... as in television sets. Anyone out there as old as I am remember calling them that? Anyone out there remember Bette Davis?

Anyway, the good news first: The upcoming PBS season surpasses the one just ending. It's that good. Not only are some of our favorite dramas back, but so too are many of our favorite characters. The Crawley family returns for a fifth season of Downton Abbey, the "Midwives" are back, as are Mr. Selfridge and associates. Our favorite detectives return with brand new episodes: Hercule Poirot (David Suchet), Miss Marple, Inspector Morse when he was a young constable and known simply as Endeavour, and when the crimes are too tough for ordinary sleuths to solve Inspector Lewis is called from retirement. Another old friend is also returning to solve culinary mysteries. Martha Stewart will be on PBS with two new series displaying her tips, secrets and advice in the famous Martha manner. (The mystery is why I can't cook like that. She makes it look so easy.)

A new kids' series premiers this fall and promises to be a winner. The Odd Squad encounters math problems in a fun manner while parodying our favorite secret agent series. Think NCIS meets Mod Squad and gets hijacked by a youthful Get Smart. This live action show will be great fun for 8-10 year olds but, shhhh, don't tell them it's educational.

Many music and great performances from around the world are scheduled for the year. My favorite is a retrospective on Bing Crosby. "Der Bingle" is featured in several movie and TV clips which include some of my favorite scenes.

Wednesday continues as the smartest night on television with outstanding animal programs and exceptional science programming from NOVA. Some outstanding documentaries are also scheduled for POV, but when it comes to documentaries, I can cut the superlatives and just say "Ken Burns". Ken turns his prodigious talents to the Vietnam War, and this massive effort will be featured over a seven-night period later in the year. This is not to be missed.

Quality costs, and that's the bad news and the thing that goes bump in the night - at least from a budget standpoint. Our bill from PBS for the coming season has gone up $153,000 over FY 2014. That is why I am simply and directly asking for your continuing and additional support. With your help now we can afford these outstanding programs and still offer local programming and services. This is a huge hit to our budget but with your help, I know we can do it. Please take a moment now to make your generous additional contribution or become a sustaining member of WTVP. Simply go to www.wtvp.org or call (309) 677-4747 and pledge now. Your "set" - and you - will be happy you did. Thank you.

Chet Tomczyk
President & CEO, WTVP (Retired 2014)

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