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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  October 5, 2012 

Contact:  Barbara Hamm Lee, WHRO Corporate Communications, 757.889.9107 

WHRO ISSUES STATEMENT REGARDING FIRST PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE
Candidate Romney’s Promise to Defund PBS Evokes Response
   


NORFOLK:  WHRO, public media for Hampton Roads, responded with grave disappointment to PBS becoming a political target in the Presidential debate on Wednesday night.  The station believes that the American people place high value on public broadcasting and understand the outstanding return on investment the system delivers to our nation. WHRO thinks it is important to set the record straight and let the facts speak for themselves.
 
“All of us who watch, support and adore Public Broadcasting understand that Big Bird, a beloved children’s character, doesn't begin to represent the sum total of public television’s contribution to the American people. The thought that it does greatly diminishes the work stations like WHRO have done for more than fifty years,” Bert Schmidt, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hampton Roads’ public broadcaster.  “It totally ignores the tremendous work stations across the country have done in education, community outreach and citizen engagement.”

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WHRO is a regional media company that promotes education, culture and citizenship to the citizens of Hampton Roads, Virginia through a variety of services.  Every day, thousands of viewers and listeners tune in to broadcast programming on WHRO’s four public television and eight public radio stations.  Since its founding in 1961 to support education, WHRO has employed creativity and technology to serve its mission to enrich audiences through content that educates, entertains and promotes understanding. Owned by 18 local school divisions, WHRO delivers educational and new media services to 286,000 students and 25,000 educators per month as well.