For Immediate Release
Contact: Kristin Tutino, (585) 258-0253

WXXI BRINGS HOME TOP HONORS AT PBS CONFERENCE

Rochester, New York (October 11, 2006) – WXXI Public Broadcasting took top honors at the annual PBS Development Conference, bringing home the “2006 Award for Excellence, Overall Development.”

The national award, presented October 4 in Baltimore, recognized WXXI for being “an integral part of the Rochester community.” It noted how WXXI’s strategic plan helps the station meet local needs and to be worthy of community support.
“This award belongs to greater Rochester as much as to WXXI,” said WXXI President Norm Silverstein. “The support we’ve received over the years has helped our station become a national model for public broadcasting, especially in local service.”

The award-winning entry, titled “RX for a Healthy Station,” demonstrated how WXXI worked to involve staff, volunteers and Trustees in developing a new strategic plan that puts the community first. It noted how WXXI partners with local organizations, has expanded its presence at community festivals and events, and has created a new lecture series, WXXI Voices, that brings national public television and radio personalities to Rochester.
“Every Development discipline saw growth in revenue, with corporate support, special events and auction enjoying double figure increases,” said Beth Suarez, Vice President of Development for PBS, in announcing the award.

Silverstein said that during the past year, WXXI has been part of a national Major Giving Initiative sponsored by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Success in securing major and planned gifts has contributed to the fiscal stability of WXXI and is helping to secure its future.
He noted that WXXI celebrated its 40th Anniversary of broadcasting to the Rochester community on September 6. In addition, the station hosted nearly 2,000 visitors at a “40th Anniversary Open House” on September 30. Viewers and listeners had an opportunity to tour the recently renovated facility, meet local radio and television personalities, and have their pictures taken with PBS Kids’ characters such as Curious George and Noddy. Mayor Robert Duffy also attended the Open House and proclaimed September 30 as “WXXI Day in the City of Rochester.”

"It is only with membership and community support that this award -- and the last 40 years -- have been possible," said Silverstein. "We are fortunate to live in a community that values quality programming dedicated to education, public affairs and the arts that only public broadcasting can bring."

More than 900 public broadcasters, board members and volunteers attended the annual conference in Baltimore. The PBS Development Awards recognize excellence and innovative fundraising efforts that keep true to the mission of public broadcasting.

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WXXI is the essential, life-long educational media resource for the Greater Rochester area. WXXI puts the community first with programming that stimulates and expands thought, inspires the spirit, opens cultural horizons and promotes understanding of diverse community issues. Log on to wxxi.org for more information about our services and programs.

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