Thursday, December 16, 2010

WSBE Rhode Island PBS Joins Effort to Harness Grassroots Enthusiasm of 170 Million Americans

WSBE Rhode Island PBS has joined with public television and public radio stations across the country in an unprecedented effort to harness the enthusiasm of the 170 million Americans who watch, listen to or use the services and programming of public media each month.1 The centerpiece of the campaign is a web site – – that represents the beginning of a grassroots effort to engage the support and energy of viewers and listeners in local communities in all 50 states.

The 170 Million Americans campaign was founded on the belief that now, more than ever, the country needs a strong public media system as a source of non-partisan news, local cultural programming, and non-commercial educational programs. Public funding ensures that public media will continue to enhance the quality of life of local communities through its offerings of children’s programming, news and public affairs, music and culture, and more.

"Rhode Island PBS is proud to participate in the national 170 Million Americans campaign," said David Piccerelli, WSBE Rhode Island PBS president and chief executive officer. "WSBE has a strong local focus, and a national campaign such as 170 Million Americans gives our viewers a chance to express on a national level their enthusiasm for local public television."

Piccerelli said the station will include on-air and online efforts that urge members, viewers and supporters of public media to visit and join the movement. The 170 Million Americans is not a fund raising campaign.

“2011 will be the year when a vigorous debate over the importance of public media will take place,” Piccerelli said. “We’re proud to be a driver in this coordinated grassroots efforts to harness the support and energy of public media supporters in America.”

1 Source: