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PBS39 2018-19 Annual Report

A Message from Our CEO About This Report...

On behalf of our Board of Directors and the members of the PBS39 team, I invite you to take a stroll with me down Sesame Street as we explore the success of the 2018-19 fiscal year.

Around the world children of all ages are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the iconic children’s programming that introduced them to reading, numbers, to Big Bird, Bert and Ernie, Oscar the Grouch, and so much more. It is where learning to read was “brought to you by the letter S” and all of its other alphabet neighbors.

Along those lines, and because learning to read is so critical to future success, PBS39 launched Lehigh Valley Reads during the past year as a community wide collective impact initiative with the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley. Its goal is to ensure all our students are reading at grade level by the end of third grade by 2025. Lehigh Valley Reads is also where the community and the classroom meet by making sure all our teachers have access to top-notch professional development opportunities around literacy. This powerful initiative lives to make sure our youngest learners reach their highest potential, one story at a time.

Our strategic plan, WLVT 3.0, states that “PBS39 shall be the pre-eminent source of objective analysis and coverage of important community issues.” To that end, PBS39 created the Reporter Corps®, a team of multimedia journalists that powers PBS39 News Tonight. This hyper-local, fiercely independent and unbiased nightly broadcast is just the first of many outlets for the Reporter Corps; and our widespread community values this project - Nielsen Ratings show us to be the second most watched news broadcast at 11 p.m. in Lehigh and Northampton counties, including all other stations—locally and in Philadelphia.

Also, this past year, PBS39 continued our collaboration with the other six public television stations across Pennsylvania to make a difference by fighting the only declared disaster in the state not related to nature: the opioid crisis. The Battling Opioids project produced three documentaries full of stories that share hope and heartache. It also maintains a website to connect visitors to resources, events, and more moving stories.

Overall, we experienced a wonderful fiscal 2019. From our solid-yet-prudent financial status to our award-winning programming to the initiatives that promote our two-pronged focus of education and journalism, we are proud to say we have made significant progress toward achieving all the goals of WLVT 3.0 – which ensures that tomorrow is an even better day than today.

So, walk with me. It’s a sunny day. We’re chasing the clouds away. We’re on our way to where the air is sweet, as well as inspired, engaged, and vibrant!

Warm regards,
Timothy S. Fallon