Don’t cut funding for local public television: Princeton station builds community

2 mins read

To the Editor:

As the President and CEO of a nonprofit which has greatly benefitted from the knowledge, time, and talent of Princeton Community Television (PTV), I am concerned and dismayed to learn that PTV is slated to lose its funding from the municipality, and therefore may cease operations by the end of the year.

In keeping with the spirit of “community” implied by its name, the Princeton-Blairstown Center (was fortunate to receive the support and assistance of PTV through their community partners grant program. In 2018, for the 110th anniversary of our organization, the patient and professional staff at PTV assisted our very small staff with storyboarding, directing, and editing a series of short videos about our work and its impact on young people.

With their guidance and assistance, we developed a series of five videos, which we have used to help tell the Princeton-Blairstown Center story to potential clients, donors, volunteers, and the public. One of the videos, “A Place to Grow,” was recently screened at the Nassau Film Festival, and aired on Princeton TV on May 21st. Princeton-Blairstown Center, along with many other nonprofits like us who have received PTV’s help through the years, would never have had this opportunity and exposure without the time and support PTV offered us at no cost to our organization.

As Natasha Sherman’s letter indicates, the station has a modest budget, entirely supported by a portion of the municipality’s cable TV franchise fee. It provides timely, relevant, local coverage on a range of interesting and thought-provoking topics; assists nonprofits like ours; and more. Amazingly, it accomplishes all of this with an annual operating budget of less than $250,000.

I believe that what the community will lose, should PTV close its doors, amounts to a far greater cost than is accounted for via an annual operating budget. It is my hope that Princeton will reconsider its decision to withdraw funding from this unique and important community resource.

Sincerely,

Pam Gregory
President & CEO, Princeton-Blairstown Center

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