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Letters to the Editor

What OETA means

John McCarroll December 21st, 2011

We were a little perplexed to see a letter to the editor from Carl Hall (“Elmo A-OK?” Dec. 7, Oklahoma Gazette) stating that no one from OETA had answered his wife’s email about the impact of state funding cuts.

His letter was in response to the “Death to Elmo?” article (News, Clifton Adcock, Nov. 16, Gazette).

Every day OETA receives dozens of telephone calls, letters and emails about our programming, signal distribution, funding and other topics of interest to viewers. Anyone who asks a question, we certainly try to answer and think we have a fairly efficient system to handle inquiries.

Unfortunately, we do not have a record of an email from Mr. Hall’s wife. Perhaps the email went astray. We would have been glad to answer her question.

We would have explained that with a loss of the $4.2 million appropriation (40 percent of the network’s budget), a number of changes would be required. That might mean the elimination of many Oklahoma-centric productions on history, education, the arts, news, public affairs, etc. It also might mean the elimination of the OETA signal to the non-metropolitan areas of Oklahoma. People who live in Ponca City, Elk City, Lawton, Duncan, Ardmore and dozens of other cities, towns and rural communities would not have access to any educational, non-commercial television. In many areas of Oklahoma, this is the only off-air television signal received by citizens.

We also would have explained that OETA’s website would be unable to post the hundreds of hours of statewide and local productions. We would note that educators, home-schoolers, caregivers and families could no longer depend on the only source of educational, noncommercial children’s programs.

It also might mean that no longer would Oklahoma elementary schools be able to teach American history through the live, interactive TV field trips to Colonial Williamsburg. A loss of such funding could mean the loss of the annual television program that awards scholarships to hundreds of Oklahoma high school seniors.

We would have noted that Oklahoma is recognized nationally for having the most effective, efficient statewide network in America. That excellence would be difficult to maintain if the state no longer funded its public television network.

That’s how we have answered others who have asked about potential loss of state funding. And we would like to supply Mr. Hall’s wife with the same information.

—John McCarroll
Oklahoma City

McCarroll is the executive director of OETA.

Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, emailed to or sent online at, but include a city of residence and contact number for verification.

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12.21.2011 at 01:50 Reply

So, in a nutshell the children of Oklahoma will be even less educated than they already are.  

Finally, the Republican party can check something off their to-do list.

They must be so proud.  You'd think that with our societies propensity for using the TV as a baby sitter they'd want the children to at least have a chance to learn something, if for no other reason than they're too lazy to change the channel.  But now our children are guaranteed a dim bulb education courtesy of Snooki and any number of Kardashians.


(in case you're too stupid to tell, that's sarcasm)