What OETA means

His letter was in response to the “Death to Elmo?” article (News, Clifton Adcock, Nov. 16, Gazette).

Every day OETA receives dozens of telephone calls, letters and emails about our programming, signal distribution, funding and other topics of interest to viewers. Anyone who asks a question, we certainly try to answer and think we have a fairly efficient system to handle inquiries.

Unfortunately, we do not have a record of an email from Mr. Hall’s wife. Perhaps the email went astray. We would have been glad to answer her question.

We would have explained that with a loss of the $4.2 million appropriation (40 percent of the network’s budget), a number of changes would be
required. That might mean the elimination of many Oklahoma-centric
productions on history, education, the arts, news, public affairs, etc.
It also might mean the elimination of the OETA signal to the
non-metropolitan areas of Oklahoma. People who live in Ponca City, Elk
City, Lawton, Duncan, Ardmore and dozens of other cities, towns and
rural communities would not have access to any educational,
non-commercial television. In many areas of Oklahoma, this is the only
off-air television signal received by citizens.

We
also would have explained that OETA’s website would be unable to post
the hundreds of hours of statewide and local productions. We would note
that educators, home-schoolers, caregivers and families could no longer
depend on the only source of educational, noncommercial children’s
programs.

It also
might mean that no longer would Oklahoma elementary schools be able to
teach American history through the live, interactive TV field trips to
Colonial Williamsburg. A loss of such funding could mean the loss of the
annual television program that awards scholarships to hundreds of
Oklahoma high school seniors.

We
would have noted that Oklahoma is recognized nationally for having the
most effective, efficient statewide network in America. That excellence
would be difficult to maintain if the state no longer funded its public
television network.

That’s
how we have answered others who have asked about potential loss of
state funding. And we would like to supply Mr. Hall’s wife with the same
information.

—John McCarroll
Oklahoma City

McCarroll is the executive director of OETA.

Oklahoma
Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view
in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to
edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed,
emailed to pbacharach@okgazette.com or sent online at okgazette.com, but
include a city of residence and contact number for verification.

John McCarroll

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