How Can I Help?

How can I help?" was the first thing he asked me.

Now understand, I had never met John Wade. But the executive director of the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce sought me out for a personal meeting shortly after I joined KSMQ-TV and I gladly accepted his invitation. His question came from the perspective of a seasoned business professional who understands the value that a PBS television station brings to a city and a region. He's also a fan of KSMQ, complimenting me on a recent "Off 90" segment he had viewed. ("Off 90" is our locally produced weekly arts and cultural heritage program.)

Mr. Wade suggested a few ideas regarding potential partnerships with businesses in the Rochester community, and encouraged us to meet for further idea sharing and dialog.

I left that meeting feeling engaged and excited about the possibilities.

Partnerships. Community involvement. Financial support. These are the kinds of goals that build success personally and for a region. And all of you, our forward-thinking friends of KSMQ-TV, need to help us in these ways as we move into the most challenging years since our corporate reorganization in 2005.

As is the case nationally, our membership numbers are dwindling due to population, and the business community is stretched financially. We, too, have had playfuddle difficulties, leading to several job losses last year. And yet, the work of television continues and our staff continues to produce outstanding, relevant content.

Sometimes I think that PBS is the last relevant television source on the dial. We must continue through our broadcasts, to honor, inform, and inspire. The viewers, here and across the country, know that our programming is top-notch. Just last month a national survey confirmed what many of us already knew: For the 12th year in a row, PBS was named the most trusted name in television. Our national and local programming is created thoughtfully and with the viewer in mind. As is our motto at KSMQ: we honor, we engage, we inspire.

These programs don't just happen.

Now I want you to know how much I appreciate all of you who have helped us by continuing your memberships, through good times and bad ones.
Call 866-859-7908 or click here to join.

Two weeks ago on Friday I received a phone call from a concert promoter, who also happened to be from Rochester: "Say, can you help us out?" A non-profit group was trying to bring a music concert to town and were looking for a partner who could quickly promote the concert on its airwaves. We said, "Absolutely." Our internal team quickly arranged an informational announcement, we recorded some on-camera inserts and we were able to help. "You're always there for us when we need a hand." A nice thing to hear, for this newcomer.

These are the kinds of things that KSMQ has done for 40 years. Bring people together. You don't necessarily see it on the airwaves but in so many ways, we help strengthen the cultural fabric of southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. It is vital that our region maintains a PBS television presence. I urge you to connect with us—financially and otherwise—so that we can celebrate another 40 years together.