Susan Howarth, WEDU President and CEO

My Fellow WEDU Members and Supporters,

My gratitude goes out to you and the thousands of other supporters who recently contacted our State legislators and the Governor to express your thoughts about the value of WEDU and public media in general.

We are happy to announce that the Governor and the legislature restored funding for public television stations in Florida during the recent legislative session. We are extremely grateful to the Governor and the legislators who are providing funding so that we can continue to present high-quality educational programs and services in West Central Florida. But, we could not have accomplished this without the support of you, our viewers. Your calls and emails to the Governor’s office and to your local legislators had a tremendous impact on the final decision. WEDU would like to thank you for taking action and showing that you believe public broadcasting is worth supporting!

While our support from the State has been cut more than 37% over the past four years, and we accepted an additional 29% cut in this year’s recommended budget, the State of Florida’s investment in public media has been hugely successful and has spanned more than 30 years. State funding for public broadcasting is popular, effective, efficient – and at 25 cents annually per Floridian, it’s a bargain. The State’s investment in public broadcasting is a public-private partnership that improves education and the quality of life for all Floridians.

Our station and others throughout the State join PBS in serving as America’s largest classroom. Teachers and homeschoolers rely upon our resources and programs to educate our children. Families of pre-school children are quick to attest that it is an instrumental tool for expanding their children’s vocabulary and thirst for learning.

Over multiple media platforms, our community can also experience unparalleled music, theater, artistic programs and a window to the world. And our commitment to local issues is unmatched in the area: WEDU provides year round awareness for nonprofit organizations; exposure to some of west central Florida’s most interesting people and places, and timely, topical, in-depth discussions on issues that matter most to our citizens.

As we have for almost 54 years, WEDU will continue to strive to be a valued community partner that meets the needs of our citizens. Your voice and advocacy on behalf of WEDU is always appreciated, and we are also very grateful for your financial support.

Susan Howarth
WEDU President and CEO