Photo: Bill Mayeroff|
WQPT General Manager Rick Best said Friday that the station will feature more locally-produced programs in order to give viewers more variety as well as save money by buying fewer programs from PBS.
Rick Best hopes WQPT-TV public television can save money by not buying as much programming from PBS and focusing on more locally produced programs.
"We'll be bringing new series to our viewers that have never been available in the Quad-Cities," Mr. Best, WQPT's general manager, said at a recent news to announce programming changes at the station.
By buying fewer programs from PBS, he said the station could save up to about $300,000 per year. WQPT has been forced to make changes, Mr. Best said, because it's no longer financially supported by Black Hawk College.
"It's already well-known that WQPT is no longer part of Black Hawk’s budget, although we continue to be a department of the college, and the college continues to support the station with space and in-kind services," Mr. Best said.
One new program the station is looking into is an exercise program for kids.
"It's not going to be that sort of 'sit and lift your leg' type of thing," said Lora Adams, WQPT's chief development officer.
She added the the program would be produced in conjunction with the YMCAs of the Quad-Cities. "They're totally on board," she said.
The exercise program would be a series geared toward toddlers to 12-year-olds, Ms. Adams said, designed to get kids excited about exercising.
"We hope the music's going to be fun," she said. "We hope the hosts will be engaging."
Mr. Best said the station also will have a locally produced cooking show called "Recipe Re-do," and new shows for nature and news fans.
"We'd like to have a new media roundtable program," he said.
Besides saving money, the station's programming changes -- some of which took effect July 1 -- are being made to give viewers something new, he said.
"It's part financial and it's part providing new services," Mr. Best said. "The new schedule we are announcing today is designed to provide a greater variety of programs in television markets where most of the viewers have access to more than one public television station, as is true in the Quad-Cities region."
Although Black Hawk no longer funds WQPT, the college is holding onto the station's license for now.
"The college has dropped the idea of selling the license," Mr. Best said. At some point, he said, the license could be owned by another school or a group of them.
"We have made approaches to all the other institutions of higher learning," he said.
Although he said WQPT could move from its studios from the basement of Black Hawk's Building 2 sometime in the future, that won't be happening soon.
"There are no solid plans to relocate the station," he said.
For more information on the new schedule, visit WQPT's Web site at www.wqpt.org/schedule.