Break out the champagne and the noisemakers. July 1 marks the start of a brand new (fiscal) year—that’s right, FY 2013 is about to begin! Since I happen to be a fiscal new year baby, I’ve always felt this day should be given more significance (why wait three more days for parades and fireworks!?).
Landing smack dab in the middle of the year, it’s a good time to look back and reflect. Although my own fiscal year was fairly uneventful, fiscal year 2012 will go down in history as a significant era for WNED public broadcasting. As I’ve been gathering information for our upcoming annual report, I wanted to share some impressive highlights. So here’s my Top 10 WNED Triumphs for Fiscal Year 2012.
Drumroll, please …
1. “The War of 1812:” Just in time for the bicentennial commemoration of the War of 1812, WNED produced public television’s first comprehensive film history of the war. The largest single project ever undertaken by WNED, this major two-hour program premiered nationally on PBS Oct. 10, 2011, generating significant news coverage in both the United States and Canada.2. WBFO-FM 88.7: On March 1, 2012 at 4 p.m., public radio in Western New York began an exciting new future at WNED. After months of preparation, WNED’s purchase of WBFO-FM 88.7 from the University at Buffalo was finalized, and a revised program line-up began airing simultaneously on both WBFO-FM 88.7 and WNED-AM 970. The purchase allows WNED to continue offering Western New Yorkers the best of public radio while making more efficient use of donor and taxpayer dollars.3. “Underground Railroad: The William Still Story:” Featured as a major new PBS Black History Month program for 2012, this 60-minute, bi-national documentary premiered nationally Feb. 6, 2012. The film brought to life the moving story of an unheralded hero in the fight against slavery.
Whew! It’s been quite a year for WNED! How did you make use of WNED in fiscal year 2012? What would you like to see your public broadcasting station accomplish in the new fiscal year?4. “Hockey: More Than a Game:” This passionate WNED documentary celebrates the spirit, traditions and compelling stories behind the game described as “Canada’s gift to the world.” It premiered on WNED-TV and most U.S.-Canadian border stations on Dec. 1, 2011 and has since been made available to all PBS stations via a national distributor.5. 2012 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition: Produced in partnership with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, this prestigious event brought eight of the world’s top up-and-coming classical guitarists to Buffalo, N.Y. during the first full week of June. The youngest contestant, 21-year-old Celil Refik Kaya of Turkey, emerged as the winner.
6. “Buffalo Architecture:” In October, as thousands converged on the Queen City for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2011 conference, WNED aired an original radio series celebrating the city’s storied architecture, including Buffalo City Hall and waterfront grain elevators. The 10-part series was carried on both WNED-AM 970 and Classical 94.5 WNED. The series offers one major example of a significant new direction for WNED -- producing original radio content with local cultural and historical significance.
7. Excellence in Journalism: On June 2, 2012, WBFO-FM 88.7/WNED-AM 970 was honored with 16 awards (six first place and 10 special mentions) by the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters Association for exemplary local news coverage in 2011.8. Niagara Falls Daredevil National Coverage: On June 15, 2012, WBFO-FM 88.7/WNED-AM 970 provided live reports and play-by-play coverage of Nik Wallenda’s wire walk over Niagara Falls. Several reports aired to national and state audiences via National Public Radio, “Marketplace” and other New York radio stations.
9. WNED's LiveWell project concluded after two years of creative, grassroots outreach designed to promote healthy lifestyles. Several innovative health education resources (including an inner-city community garden, a multi-media family resource kit and a comprehensive LiveWell Web site) will continue to benefit the community.
10. “Young Performers:” Classical 94.5 WNED continued planning and pre-production for the first radio series to highlight classical music students from the Buffalo-Toronto region. The inaugural season will feature 44 acts involving talented musicians ranging in age from 10 to 18.