Message From The Chairman

Why public media? It’s a question I’m asked from time to time, especially during this new “Golden Age of television,” and the rise of paid subscription services that seem to dominate the headlines.

In case you, our supporters and viewers, have a similar question, let me take a stab at an answer.

Viewers First. Thanks to the incredible support of viewers, foundations, government agencies and PBS stations, we are not beholden to advertisers or ratings, but are dedicated to serving our audiences and future audiences, where they want to watch and how they want to watch. In FY2019 we began a next-phase digital transformation that will allow us to explore new ways to deliver content that meets our highest standards yet engages an audience that is younger and more diverse.

Fair, Balanced News and Public Affairs Programming. We know it’s a volatile news landscape, and we want to be your voice of reason. The place you can go to explore the issues in depth, measured by your understanding, not by the volume of the voices or the outrageousness of the soundbite. In FY2019, we broadened the news landscape with the launch of Amanpour and Company, and continued production of PBS NewsHour Weekend, MetroFocus and our multi-platform initiatives Peril and Promise and Chasing the Dream.

Beauty. The arts are at the core of our humanity. Whether we hum along to a favorite tune, read voraciously, are inspired by poets or dancers or painters, the arts deliver us inspiration and beauty and a respite from our day-to-day. This year, we took that investment in the arts to new heights with the introduction of ALL ARTS, a multi-platform, multi-disciplinary offering that provides long and short-form arts programming from all genres, for all audiences and across broadcast and digital platforms.

Community. As the PBS station serving the greater New York region, we remain steeped in our community, looking for new ways to be of service. We are committed to programming that reflects our neighbors and our neighborhoods. We step out of our studios into the community with screenings and programs that dig deeper into our content, and this year we re-doubled our efforts to engage with our community through a series of convenings with non-profit leaders who are dedicated to a range of needs of our viewers and neighbors, looking to better understand how we can help meet the challenges of our day.

I continue to be impressed and proud of the work being done across WNET to remain inspiring, informative and valuable to our public media audiences.


Edgar Wachenheim, III