MEnu Graphic: Text Equivalents at End of Page The WGBH Campaign: Expanding the Vision
Sustaining Excellence

What has made WGBH preeminent is an unwavering commitment to excellence and quality, a commitment evident at its founding nearly 50 years ago when 'GBH set out to provide an alternative to commercial broadcasting. WGBH has changed a great deal from those early days, when it introduced Julia Child to the kitchens of America from the basement of the Boston Gas building. The roster of programs pioneered and produced by 'GBH offers eloquent testimony to the impact and influence the station has had over the past half century.

Multiplying the Impact
Twice a year, WGBH sends NOVA teacher's guides to 65,000 educators across the US, supplying activities that help them integrate the series into their curriculum. Each teacher uses the guide with an average of 75 students. Impressive impact, when you do the math! (And that's for just one year; most teachers use the lessons over and over. Most also share the guide with at least one other teacher, extending the impact even further.)

NOVA Guides enhance science education for nearly 5 million students every year

But none of this would have been possible without the resources to attract talented and creative people--and here the support of the local community demonstrated both enormous generosity and enlightened self-interest. This partnership gave WGBH a freedom rarely seen in broadcasting to pursue innovative ideas, to take risks, and to set the very highest standards for program content and production.

Applause, Applause!
Hundreds of awards line the shelves at WGBH, from the Parents' Choice Award to the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award...even two Oscars! 'GBH productions were honored with more than 100 awards in 1999 alone, including: 13 Emmys, 6 Peabodys,
1 duPont-Columbia Award, Gold Baton.

Image of Emmy statuette

To sustain this commitment into the next century will require a major new investment in people and resources. What is needed is increased funding in the form of endowment and program venture capital, combined with funds to convert to--but more importantly to capitalize upon the potential of--digital broadcasting. In its early years, WGBH raised money by door-to-door solicitations, neighbors calling upon neighbors, and later through its innovative on-air auction and membership drives. While successful, such efforts provide support for ongoing operations but not for long-term research and development or endowment--both so critical to keeping the pipeline filled with programs of the highest quality.

Gifts to WGBH's earlier program venture fund, the Fund for the Eighties, provided the leveraging capital that made possible programs such as Arthur, Frontline, and American Experience. This new campaign will not only speed the development of programs that bring WGBH's hallmark quality to a new generation of viewers and listeners, but it also will enable 'GBH to fulfill its educational mission in ways that the station's founders could scarcely have imagined.

Extraordinary Reach
Six times as many people watch PBS each week (95,800,000) as visit a public library (15,800,000)

More than twice as many people watch WGBH each day (1,000,000) as read the daily Boston Globe (466,000)

More than four times as many people watched Frontline's The Farmer's Wife (16,680,000) as read Time magazine each week (4,000,000)

Twice as many people watched WGBH's Sister Wendy's Story of Painting (3,600,000) as attended the Museum of Fine Arts, Gardner Museum, and Worcester Art Museum combined in one year (1,838,000)

Nearly five times as many people watch WGBH's Evening at Pops each week (3,000,000) as see the Boston Pops Orchestra perform live over a summer season (604,000)

"There is no other outlet for programs like The Civil War, Eyes on the Prize, Vietnam: A Television History, and Frontline. And while we have done much good work, our greatest challenges lie before us. Our future lies not in trying to duplicate, nor to oversensationalize, but to innovate, to find ways to attract and keep audiences without succumbing and giving up certain standards. "

Henry Hampton*, Independent filmmaker
Honorary Co-Chair

* deceased November, 1998

About the Campaign | Boston's Own, Boston's Best
Sustaining Excellence | Picture the Future | Campaign Details
Ways of Giving | Where We Are Now | Contact Us

home | site map | search | contact us | pledge/renew | shop
TV | Radio | Web | Learn | Members

© 2000 WGBH

About the Campaign Boston's Own, Boston's Best Picture the Future Campaign Details Ways of Giving Where We Are Now WGBH The WGBH Campaign: Expanding the Vision