WTVP is in danger of being shut down
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 Frequently Asked Questions

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Q: Why was the full amount of pledges not raised?

A: In a “perfect storm” scenario, the bond issue closed on September 12, 2001 – the day immediately following 9/11. Contributors were redirecting their charitable dollars from their usual local causes to 9/11 relief; markets dropped drastically over the following period, people felt poorer and were reluctant to make more contributions in an unsure economy. WTVP was fortunate to raise $7.5 million with these circumstances. When the economy started to rebound, the WTVP production building was completed and donors felt the job was done and did not make further pledges.


Q: What about federal support?

A: Earmark funding was diligently sought but anticipated federal support failed to materialize because federal discretionary funds were directed to homeland security and the Iraq war.


Q: Were there other attempts to raise funds beyond the Funds for Forty Seven campaign?

A: Yes, WTVP engaged in a subsequent campaign titled Minds Matter. Funds from this campaign were used to provide programming and services, as well as additional revenue for debt reduction. This campaign raised about $1.5 million, largely from IVPTC Board members.


Q: Has IVPTC missed any payments?

A: All payments due including principal, interest and fees have, to date, been made in a timely fashion.


Q: Has IVPTC looked to other local banks for replacement funding?

A: Yes, but no local bank has exhibited interest in replacing the current letter of credit in the amounts required. The search continues.


Q: Why did you leave/why not go back to Bradley University?

A: There was no room on campus to house the station and its increased space needs that resulted from the federal mandate to convert to digital broadcasting while also continuing to broadcast in analog.


Q: How are WTVP’s programming and operations affected?

A: The problem is with long-term debt. Daily operations and programming will continue unaffected for the foreseeable future. WTVP continues to produce and to air the best television on television. Printed schedules are subject to change as station officials go on air to bring viewers up to speed and ask for pledges to "Save Our Station."


Q: Is there any scenario that sees WTVP and public broadcasting in Peoria and Central Illinois going dark?

A: Yes. As part of the bond issue, WTVP was required to pledge all its assets to obtain the Letter of Credit. If we are unable to reach a satisfactory restructuring The Bank of America and Commerce Bank may choose to foreclose on the loan, sell the station to other entities and/or sell off the assets piecemeal.

WTVP’s staff and Board continue to work hard to preclude those eventualities, but the support of the community is critical to raising the significant amount of dollars necessary to satisfy the banks.


Q: What is the "Save Our Station" Campaign?

A: It is an emergency fundraising effort attempting to raise at least $2 million in viewer pledges by Dec. 31, 2007. The forbearance period ends on January 15, 2008, and, in order to have any chance of crafting a negotiated settlement acceptable to Bank of America and Commerce Bank, WTVP has to raise as many capital dollars as possible to add to any we can borrow from local banks to make the offer as close as possible to the total amount due.


Q: Why “pledges” and not cash?

A: The pledges are tangible indications of community support for WTVP and will be used to leverage the amount that WTVP might be able to borrow to repay the letter of credit. There is no guarantee that Bank of America and Commerce Bank will accept our offer. If they don’t, contributors will be under no legal obligation to fulfill their pledges.


Q: How can I help?

A: Pledge. Then tell everyone you know to pledge too. Pledge online, or call (309) 495-0555, or, toll free, 1-866-377-0555.

 
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