Results in for KTWU

Brandon Bills

Public television is feeling the pinch from the economy.

KTWU completed its most recent pledge drive on March 15. The station raised a little more than $100,000 during the two week drive.

“With everything that’s going on, maybe we were lucky to get that much,” said Cindy Barry, director of development for KTWU.

Donations to KTWU for this pledge drive were down about 30 percent from last year. Nationwide, donations were down 30 percent as well, said Elaine Gill, assistant director of development for KTWU.

Barry attributes the drop in donations to the troubled economy and viewers who have had difficulty making the switch the KTWU’s new digital signal.

Many of KTWU’s viewers are older and haven’t made the transition to digital unless they have had help from family, said Barry.

“Add the two together and you get a challenging drive,” she said.

Barry believes that KTWU’s return from this pledge drive was the best possible under the current circumstances. Two other public television stations in Kansas had to continue their March pledge drives for an extra week, a measure to which KTWU did not have to resort.

The station holds three scheduled pledge drives a year. A fourth is sometimes held in June if needed. A pledge drive in June is very likely, said Barry.

“We hold that at bay and don’t plan on that, but it’s still an option,” said Barry.

Still, the outlook for KTWU is strong.

“As soon as the economy rebounds, we will do fine because we have such loyal viewers,” said Barry. “We appreciate those who donate. They are very special and important to us.”