Letter to NY Times Editor

March 2nd, 2008

Thirteen blogger: Neal Shapiro, President

February 19, 2008
Letters to the Editor
The New York Times

To the Editor:

In cherrypicking through the TV schedule to make his point, Charles McGrath misses the range and depth of Thirteen/WNET’s programming. From science and history to culture and public affairs, Thirteen has been at the forefront of creating and broadcasting some of PBS’s finest programs. We are still innovating and bringing additional relevance to public television’s tradition of intelligence, quality and integrity.

Mr. McGrath may not be aware that we’ve just premiered a new season of “Exposé,” the only series on American television devoted to investigative reporting. While cable and commercial newsmagazines have gone “crime all the time,” this series is a fresh take on the genre.

We’ve also just launched “Reel 13,” a weekly series that lets viewers submit and pick short films and that showcases quality independent feature films.

We’re about to launch “Sunday Arts,” a new series created in partnership with New York’s cultural institutions to celebrate the fine and performing arts – from established greats to undiscovered talents. And in a unique collaboration with ABC News, Thirteen is bringing the New York Philharmonic’s historic concert in North Korea to PBS.

In March, we’ll host the third annual Teaching and Learning Celebration, a one-of-a-kind professional development conference for educators. And with a grant from the Gates Foundation, we’ll be using the Celebration as a jumping-off point to produce a national PBS program examining critical issues in education. I think Mr. McGrath would be hard-pressed to name one other television outlet that is doing this kind of work.

What Thirteen/WNET offers its community – and all America – is unique, relevant, and, yes, necessary.


Neal Shapiro
President and CEO

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