(DAYTONA BEACH, FL) June 27 - Daytona State College’s public television station, WDSC-TV 15, is restructuring its programming schedule due to federal and state budget cuts that have forced it to end its longtime relationship and membership with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). But while the programming changes will begin on July 1, station officials say WDSC will remain committed to its mission of providing quality public television that is educating, enriching and entertaining.
WDSC will replace roughly 25 percent of its program lineup typically purchased from PBS with alternative, yet high-quality programming from the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA), American Public Television (APT), locally produced programs and other sources.
“While we are making these changes, we remain committed to providing high-quality public broadcasting,” said Bob Williams, senior vice president and general manager of the station, which is operated by Daytona State College. “We encourage our members to continue to support the station, and we welcome new members who are interested in supporting the mission of public television.”
The station will continue to broadcast 24 hours a day, seven days a week on digital channels 15.1, 15.2 and 15.3, which are carried by Bright House Networks, Comcast, Direct TV, Dish Networks and AT&T U-verse.
The reorganization of the programming slate comes in the wake of a decision by Daytona State’s District Board of Trustees last week – already weathering its own state budget cuts - not to cover the cost of the station’s PBS membership and its programming lineup. The $225,000 appropriation had been part of nearly $5 million earmarked for Florida public TV stations that was vetoed earlier this month by Gov. Rick Scott.
Williams said it is important to note that 75 percent of WDSC’s programming will not change. “We have been carrying programming from NETA and APT for the past 20-plus years,” he said. “Many of our viewer favorites, such as British comedies and dramas, BBC news, our craft, sewing and how-to programs, etc., will remain intact.”
The station also will no longer publish and distribute its monthly program guide to its membership. Viewers may still view a comprehensive list of programs on the station’s website at www.wdsctv.org or in the TV schedules published by area newspapers. A list of frequently asked questions regarding the programming changes also is available on the station website.
Williams, who notified station members of the changes in a letter sent this week, said the funding cuts brought on by the recent state austerity measures emphasize the critical role WDSC’s station membership and program underwriters play. “We need them now more than ever,” he said, “and we encourage their continued support.”
Station membership levels begin with an annual donation of as little as $40.
For more information, please call or email (386) 506-4415, firstname.lastname@example.org.