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In Conversation with John McCarroll, the Executive Director of OETA

By Rich Fisher


Tulsa, OK – OETA (as in, the Oklahoma Educational Television Authority) is the statewide network of non-commercial, educational, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS-TV) member stations. It's an organization that began in the 1950s, when television itself was in its infancy, and its mission from the start has been a pedagogical one. To say that it delivers high-quality programs dedicated to the arts, sciences, humanities, documentaries, and non-partisan journalism is to state the obvious. (More than 1,800,000 viewers tune into OETA on a weekly basis.) Recently, however, two bills have been proposed in the Oklahoma legislature that would delete all state funding for OETA. And while 17 other states have eliminated funding for public TV without actually losing their public TV stations, our guest today says that the passage of either one of these bills would mean that far fewer Oklahomans would have access to OETA --- and that OETA is, in many cases (especially in the more rural or remote parts of our state), the only Oklahoma-specific programming that can be found on television. Our guest is John McCarroll, the Executive Director of OETA.