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PBS39 2018-19 Annual Report

A Message from Our CEO About This Report...

Lehigh Valley Public Media, home of PBS39 and 91.3 WLVR News, has reached an exhilarating, unprecedented juncture in our history as we serve our community. Our mission is to be the catalyst for civic engagement and to fulfill the regional needs of the Greater Lehigh Valley through dynamic communication platforms and resources. We are committed to inform through meaningful programming and local journalism, inspire through on-air programming, virtual events and forums and educate through learning initiatives and equitable access opportunities.

Public media was created to serve everyone, and we at Lehigh Valley Public Media were dedicated to delivering on that commitment in the 2019-20 fiscal year. We reimagined local news, provided vital education resources, expanded partnerships to increase collective impact and encouraged community understanding through local programs, mediums and technologies. Thanks to your support this year, we accomplished incredible things.

The first full-service independent public radio station launched in the Lehigh Valley, 91.3 WLVR News.

In FY2019, we broadened the news landscape for our region with the launch of 91.3 WLVR News. Unique to the Lehigh Valley, 91.3 WLVR News’ format is 90% news and information, using content from not only NPR, but also APM, BBC and PRX, as well as independent producers. Our team of professional, local journalists have already contributed more than 2,000 stories!

Enhanced distance learning programming in response to the crisis.

At the height of the statewide shutdown in March, when it became apparent that distance learning was absolutely vital, PBS39 worked with educators locally and nationally to create Lehigh Valley Learns – an over-the-air educational offering for youth. We were one of the first in the country to launch a distance learning curriculum. Lehigh Valley Learns broadcast 15 hours of daily programming, which reached 100% of our viewers regardless of access to the internet.

Provided daily programming with news and information from local sources.

In addition to developing curriculum for students, we also launched the only live, daily, news program on coronavirus in the Lehigh Valley: Community Update on Coronavirus addressed a critical need to inform the public. Medical experts, teachers, mental health professionals and community leaders shared their perspectives and relevant information with our viewers.

Partnered Statewide.

This year was also the inception of Pennsylvania PBS (PA PBS), the collective name for the seven public media organizations located throughout the Commonwealth. This partnership is the powerhouse that came together to build a statewide Learning at Home curriculum. PA PBS advocated for funding to launch a datacasting pilot, which ensures that equitable learning resources are available to all Pennsylvania students.

Your generosity enabled our station to serve the public and expand upon our promise of delivering authentic and trustworthy media – programs that inform, educate and inspire!

Thank you!
Timothy S. Fallon, CEO