Detroit Public TV Completes $22 Million Capital Campaign
Detroit Public Television (WTVS Channel 56) has taken a historic step toward securing its future with the completion of a $22 million capital campaign – the first ever in the station’s 54-year history. The good news comes despite a challenging economic climate and in time for the unprecedented federal requirements of digital broadcasting.
In addition to acquiring a new home for Detroit Public Television (DPTV), the station will also be positioned to expand its service to the community through the construction of studios and a production truck which will allow the station to produce anywhere in the region, as well as equipping a satellite studio in downtown Detroit and increasing its interactive online services.
Thanks to the generosity of leadership donors, foundations, corporations, Board of Trustees, staff, and more than 5,000 contributors to the campaign, DPTV can serve generations to come. A $1.25 million challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation encouraged public participation as well as individual challenges and lead gifts from George & Dolores Riley & The Riley Foundation, the Frederick A. & Barbara M. Erb Foundation, the Samuel & Jean Frankel Foundation, Richard & Jane Manoogian Foundation, the William H. Smith & Patricia M. Smith Foundation, Ford Motor Company Fund, Susan E. Cooper, MASCO Corporation Foundation, DTE Energy Foundation, James B. & Ann Nicholson, Lauraine Hoensheid and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
Completion of the capital campaign comes as people in southeastern Michigan are increasingly turning to DPTV. Approximately 1.6 million people in greater Detroit watch DPTV each week. The station’s audience growth has been the highest of any public TV station in America’s top 20 markets this television season (up 4.3% September 2008-February 2009) giving it the second highest primetime audience ratings in the nation’s largest cities. Public television is also the most trusted institution in America, according to annual RoperASW surveys for the past six years.
“The Board of Trustees and the staff of Detroit Public Television would like to thank the individuals, foundations and corporations that have contributed to the success of this campaign. This vote of confidence in Detroit Public Television and in the region it serves is a clear signal that our collective spirit will ensure our futures,” said DPTV Board Chair Richard Rassel. The total raised during the four-year campaign, which concluded on March 31, 2009, also includes gifts from the Hudson-Webber Foundation and the McGregor Fund.
“This was truly an effort by the community to strengthen our community. We are both grateful and humbled by the generosity of the many individuals who gave and gave again to make this possible,” said DPTV President and General Manager Rich Homberg. “Every dollar is a vote of confidence in Detroit Public Television and our focus on creating valuable local programs and online content while continuing to deliver the trusted and valued programs of PBS.”
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