Report to the Community Fiscal Year 2015 • July 1, 2014 – June 30



Report to the Community Fiscal Year 2015 • July 1, 2014 – June 30
Report to the Community
Fiscal Year 2015 • July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015
Public Broadcasting for Greater Washington
To the Community We Serve:
a truly historic year for
the national capital area’s flagship
public broadcasting station,
a time of remarkable growth of the
company’s capacities, partnerships
and ambitions that saw our service
to the public reach new heights.
WETA took on significant new
responsibilities and created content
of extraordinary excellence and
consequence for viewers and listeners
in Greater Washington and beyond.
In July 2014, WETA became
the sole owner of PBS NewsHour,
assuming production and
management control of public
television’s marquee newscast,
among the most trusted and revered
news operations in the nation.
As stewards of this esteemed
journalistic enterprise, we look
forward to producing more superb,
thoughtful reporting on behalf of
the American people. PBS NewsHour
is at the core of the WETA and public
broadcasting mission to educate,
enlighten and inform the public,
and I am excited and proud to lead
this vital program into the future.
In the report that follows, I invite
you to explore the breadth and
depth of fiscal year 2015 broadcasts,
productions and community
activities. With the generous support
of our members, partners and
funders, we will continue to expand
our impressive service to the public.
Thank you for supporting WETA.
Sharon Percy Rockefeller
President & CEO, WETA
Extraordinary Stor ies,Engaging Ideas
Building a Lasting
Cultural Institution
The WETA mission is to produce and broadcast programs of
intellectual integrity and cultural merit that recognize viewers’ and
listeners’ intelligence, curiosity, and interest in the world around
them. As an independent and not-for-profit public broadcaster and
producer, WETA provides its viewers and listeners with
high-quality, compelling programs and serves a broad community
with educational projects and Web-based initiatives.
Dear Friends:
to serve on the WETA Board of
Trustees, representing the community of Greater
Washington and helping to guide this vital cultural
institution in its mission. During this fiscal year,
WETA celebrated President and CEO Sharon Percy
Rockefeller’s 25th year of outstanding leadership.
With great passion and dedication, Sharon has led
WETA since 1989 to extraordinary achievements in
service to our region and to the entire nation as well.
Sharon has taken WETA to new heights of
excellence, carrying forward the values and ideals
of former WETA Chairman Willard Kiplinger and
former WETA President Elizabeth Campbell, who
founded WETA more than 50 years ago. They
established WETA to engage people of all ages in
lifelong learning, and Sharon has built an impressive
public service enterprise based upon their vision.
Since its inaugural broadcast in 1961, WETA had
operated out of a series of temporary rented locations.
When Sharon assumed leadership, one of her key goals
was to secure a permanent home for WETA. After
leading a successful capital campaign, she oversaw the
move to a new headquarters, providing essential space
to consolidate the company’s studios and offices.
During Sharon’s tenure, WETA has expanded
considerably, from an annual operating budget of $41 million
in 1989 to $93 million in fiscal year 2015. Sharon brought the
organization into the digital age in 1992, with the first overthe-air transmission of a digital high-definition television
(HDTV) program in the country. She also guided WETA to
become a top content provider, producing an impressive
portfolio of more than 400 hours of original television
content annually that airs on PBS stations nationwide.
Locally, WETA proudly serves audiences with the
region’s exclusive classical music radio service, Classical
WETA 90.9 FM, and four television channels — WETA
TV 26, WETA HD, WETA UK and WETA Kids — and
creates a slate of local television and radio programming
specifically for audiences in the capital region.
Over the years, WETA has expanded its public
service into digital media, creating classroom resources
based on content from WETA television productions.
And, through WETA Learning Media websites, the
station offers invaluable resources on topics such
as literacy, learning disabilities and brain injury.
Under Sharon’s direction, WETA has taken a leading role
in public affairs television production, recognizing public
media’s important responsibility to foster an informed
citizenry and promote civic engagement. As the home
of PBS NewsHour and Washington Week with Gwen Ifill
and a top producer of documentary programming, WETA
is a vital source of trusted news, insightful analysis and
illuminating content. Making a further commitment
to superb journalism in service to the public, WETA
became the sole owner of PBS NewsHour in July 2014.
WETA creates great television programming that
explores the nation’s collective history, illuminates
identity and celebrates cultural heritage. With Sharon
at the helm, WETA has partnered with Ken Burns,
America’s premier documentary filmmaker, to bring
to the nation 22 acclaimed films. The station has
also developed a portfolio of programs exploring our
region’s rich history, including the award-winning trio
Above: WETA headquarters. Bottom, from left: Philanthropist David Rubenstein and WETA
President and CEO Sharon Percy Rockefeller; The Civil War; Sharon Percy Rockefeller and
friends; violinists; Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff of PBS NewsHour; WETA Board of Trustees
Chairman Timothy C. Coughlin and Sharon Percy Rockefeller.
of productions Washington in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.
Through Sharon’s leadership, WETA demonstrates a
steadfast commitment to the arts, showcasing vibrant
performing arts in world-class venues in the nation’s
capital via dazzling television productions and Classical
WETA 90.9 FM, a cherished cultural institution that is
the most-listened-to classical station in America.
WETA has thrived under Sharon’s leadership. The
organization has been dedicated to enriching the lives
of audiences in Greater Washington and throughout the
nation, and WETA will continue to provide exceptional
services to the public for decades to come.
Timothy C. Coughlin
Chairman, WETA Board of Trustees
WETA produced an array of
impressive television programs
in fiscal year 2015 on behalf of
PBS viewers across the nation.
As one of the top-producing
stations of new content for
public television in the country,
WETA created more than 400
hours of programming. From
award-winning news and public
affairs series and star-studded
concerts from the nation’s
capital to illuminating historical
documentaries and engaging
lifestyle series, WETA informs and
delights the millions who treasure
the high-quality productions for
which the organization is known.
PBS NewsHour
IN JULY 2014, WETA became the sole owner and steward of
PBS NewsHour, the signature public affairs program of the
PBS system and one of the most highly regarded journalistic
enterprises in the country. With full management and
production oversight, WETA formed NewsHour Productions
LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of WETA, dedicated to
advancing the vital work of the esteemed nightly news
program co-anchored by managing editors Gwen Ifill and Judy
Woodruff. The transfer followed a close partnership of nearly
40 years between WETA and MacNeil/Lehrer Productions and
founders Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil, who established the
commitment to excellence in journalism that guides the news
operation to this day.
WETA stewardship has ensured continuity and innovation in
the unparalleled news content that Ifill and Woodruff and the
entire PBS NewsHour team produce. Highly respected for its
reporting, the award-winning, hour-long nightly news program
is acclaimed for its coverage of national and international
events and for analysis and interviews. Spotlighted among
special reports this year were the political opening of Cuba, the
latest developments in Ebola research and the advancements
in bionic arms. The program also featured ongoing series,
including “Making Sen$e Thursdays,” “NewsHour Shares” and
“Politics Monday.”
PBS NewsHour has expanded its production staff and
increased the quantity of its reports, with more news stories
on each broadcast as well as across digital, social and audio
platforms. Innovations in delivery systems are helping to
reach new and loyal audiences, with people all over the world
interacting with and experiencing PBS NewsHour in new
ways. The program launched editorial partnerships with
The Atlantic, The New York Times Video, Reveal from
The Center for Investigative Reporting, and OZY.
Expanding its content for social media, PBS NewsHour
launched a Facebook-first video series and a new podcast that
provides personal context for global news. Fiscal year 2015 also
saw the inaugural Student Reporting Labs Academy, in which
18 middle- and high-school fellows worked alongside public
media mentors to produce original news content and develop
strategies to engage youth in news and current affairs.
A production of NewsHour Productions LLC, a wholly owned nonprofit subsidiary of
WETA Washington, D.C., in association with WNET in New York. Corporate funding
provided by BAE Systems, BNSF Railways, Charles Schwab, IBEW and Lincoln Financial
Group, along with major funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS
and public television viewers. Additional funding provided by Adrienne Arsht; S.D.
Bechtel, Jr. Foundation; DF Black Foundation; California Wellness Foundation; Carnegie
Corporation of New York; Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; Consuelo Duroc-Danner;
Ford Foundation; Friends of the NewsHour; J. Paul Getty Trust; Gilchrist Foundation;
Gruber Family Foundation; The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; Howard Hughes
Medical Institute; Jerome Jacobson Foundation; Kay Foundation; The Janet W. Ketcham
Foundation; Knight Foundation; The Kresge Foundation; Lemelson Foundation; Lumina
Foundation; John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; Andrew W. Mellon
Foundation; Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts;
National Science Foundation; The John and Wendy Neu Family Foundation; Ottaway
Foundation; The David and Lucile Packard Foundation; Park Foundation; Poetry
Foundation; The SCAN Foundation; Skoll Foundation; Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; George
and Camilla Smith; Starr Foundation; Summit Foundation; Judy and Josh Weston; and
Wolfensohn Family Foundation.
Washington Week
with Gwen Ifill
GWEN IFILL LEADS a robust roundtable
discussion with award-winning journalists
who provide reporting and analysis of the
major news stories emanating from the
nation’s capital. Throughout this fiscal year,
Washington Week provided timely, in-depth
discussions around many topics, including
the 2014 midterm elections and the historic
U.S. Supreme Court rulings on the Affordable
Care Act and same-sex marriage. Moderator
and managing editor Ifill explored national
and international stories with a diverse panel
of journalists from print, television, radio
and online news organizations, including
The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, The New York
Times, Politico and The Washington Post.
The conversations extended beyond the
broadcast with “Washington Week Webcast
Extras” — additional discussions available on
the series website. Ifill also regularly engaged
with the public in the program’s online live
chat, reflecting on such topics as how social
media has changed her day-to-day job — and
provided behind-the-scenes insight into how
the weekly series is produced.
A production of WETA Washington, D.C. Major funding
provided by The Boeing Company, Prudential, Brigham
and Women’s Hospital, IBEW, Newman’s Own Foundation,
the Annenberg Foundation, the Corporation for Public
Broadcasting and PBS.
“The single most
personally relevant documentary
of this or any year.”
– Los Angeles Times
THE MONUMENTAL PROJECT created a national conversation —
across multiple media platforms — about the state of the battle
against cancer and the future of the disease. Longtime WETA
production partner Ken Burns was executive producer of
the film at the project’s core, and filmmaker Barak Goodman
produced and directed the six-hour program, based on the
Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Emperor of All Maladies:
A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee.
The documentary, which premiered March 30-April 1,
tells the comprehensive story of cancer, from its first
description in an ancient Egyptian scroll to the gleaming
laboratories of modern research institutions. Tackling the
difficult choices facing patients and medical practitioners,
filmmakers embedded in hospitals to follow contemporary
patient stories and provide viewers with insights from
an unparalleled array of cancer researchers, doctors and
other experts. The film also explores the latest scientific
breakthroughs that may have brought society
within sight of lasting cures.
Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies — A Conversation
The project was the result of an innovative partnership
between WETA and outreach partner Stand Up To Cancer
(SU2C), an initiative of the Entertainment Industry Foundation.
In 2010, WETA President and CEO Sharon Percy Rockefeller
read Mukherjee’s book during her cancer
treatment and was inspired to partner with
SU2C. The project assembled an impressive
and unprecedented array of corporate,
foundation and organizational project
supporters who brought the series to
a nationwide audience.
The expansive series website, — providing
video content, educational materials, areas for personal
stories, and further history and context for the documentary
— promises to attract millions more visitors over the years,
contributing to the lasting impact of this significant project.
In addition, WETA oversaw a public engagement campaign
aimed at helping Americans understand cancer and stripping
away some of the fear and misunderstanding surrounding
the disease. The initiative included an innovative online short
film series; an educational curriculum; and more than 80
screening events around the country, in communities such
as Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C. WETA
also collaborated on the Access to Care Policy Summit, at
which members of the healthcare community — including
government officials, healthcare providers and insurers,
patient advocates and nonprofit organizations — met to
create a shared action plan to improve cancer care access
in the District of Columbia.
WETA produced a companion television special,
Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies — A Conversation,
hosted by Katie Couric, global news anchor for Yahoo!
News and SU2C co-founder. The program, which aired
in February, featured excerpts from the documentary
series as well as personal stories and insights from Burns,
Mukherjee, Rockefeller and Couric.
The project included a radio series, Living Cancer,
broadcast across the country on NPR and produced by
national radio partner WNYC, the public radio broadcaster
in New York City. The two-week-long series illuminated
the frontiers of cancer research and treatment through
personal stories of patients, doctors and scientists.
Viewership, outreach, and press reception for
the project were a resounding success. PBS reported
ratings for the film 40 percent higher than public
television’s average primetime audience. During the first
night’s broadcast, the project hashtag trended on Twitter
in the Top 5 hashtags globally.
Ken Burns Presents Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies A Film by Barak
Goodman: A production of Florentine Films, Laura Ziskin Pictures and WETA
Washington, D.C., in association with Ark Media. Production supporters include
Genentech; Cancer Treatment Centers of America; Siemens; David H. Koch;
Bristol-Myers Squibb; the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation; Kovler Fund; The Arthur
Vining Davis Foundations; the American Association for Cancer Research;
the American Cancer Society; The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; Stand
Up To Cancer (SU2C), a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation;
the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; and PBS. Cancer: The Emperor of All
Maladies — A Conversation: A production of WETA Washington, D.C. Made
possible by Alan and Marsha Paller.
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History
SEPTEMBER 14-20, 2014
brought to the public a comprehensive narrative spotlighting the Roosevelts,
weaving together for the first time the individual stories of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor
Roosevelt, members of one of the most prominent and influential families in American politics.
More than 33.3 million viewers watched the 14-hour documentary, which follows the family’s
story for more than a century, from Theodore’s birth in 1858 to Eleanor’s death in 1962. Together,
the Roosevelts redefined the relationship Americans had with their government and with each
other — as well as the role of the United States within the wider world. The series encompasses
all the history the Roosevelts helped to make: the creation of national parks and the digging
of the Panama Canal, the New Deal and the defeat of Hitler, and the postwar struggles for civil
rights at home and
human rights around the world. The film is also an
intimate human
story about love and betrayal and personal courage
and the conquest of
fear. Time magazine proclaimed “it gives human
breath to a wellcovered period of history, all in service of an
idea: showing the
ways that, through these generations, America
matured and
As part of
the project, WETA implemented an educational
campaign, creating ways for students and adults
to better
understand some of the most critical periods in
American history. The public participated in
screening and discussion events that featured noted
Roosevelt historians and other experts. Much
of this content was available online and,
in the month of September 2014 alone,
the series website received more than
4 million page views.
A production of Florentine Films and WETA
Washington, D.C. Funding provided by Bank of
America; the Corporation for Public Broadcasting;
PBS; Mr. Jack C. Taylor; The Arthur Vining Davis
Foundations; the National Endowment for the
Humanities; Rosalind P. Walter; and members of
The Better Angels Society, including Jessica & John
Fullerton, The Pfeil Foundation, Joan Wellhouse
Newton, Bonnie & Tom McCloskey and
The Golkin Family.
The Italian Americans
FEBRUARY 17 AND 24, 2015
distinctive qualities of one immigrant
group’s experience, The Italian Americans explores how this
community, from the late-19th century to today, has shaped
the United States. The film includes interviews with such
notable Italian Americans as musician Tony Bennett, U.S.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonin Scalia, author
Gay Talese and actor John Turturro. Speaking from personal
experience, they help tell the story of how Italian Americans,
once considered “outsiders” viewed with suspicion and
mistrust, have become some of the nation’s most prominent
leaders in business, politics and the arts today. Beyond the
broadcast, WETA partnered with the National Italian American
Foundation (NIAF) to create public screening and discussion
events in nine cities around the country. In these forums,
audiences explored Italians’ contributions to American culture
and examined how this community has helped to redefine
American identity.
A production of WETA Washington, D.C., and Ark Media, in association with John
Maggio Productions. Corporate funding provided by DelGrosso Foods. Foundation
funding provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Arthur Vining
Davis Foundations and the Annenberg Foundation. Major funding provided by the
Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.
A Celebration of Peace
Through Music
APRIL 5, 2015
WORLD-RENOWNED AMERICAN conductor Sir Gilbert Levine
hosts this two-hour music special honoring the canonizations
of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II, in the spirit of
Pope Francis — celebrating three spiritual leaders who are
recognized for their devotion to promoting peace and interfaith
understanding around the world. The program includes
performances by the Kraków Philharmonic Choir, the Orchestra
of St. Luke’s and the Choral Arts Society of Washington. The
special also follows Levine as he travels to global landmarks
of historical, musical and religious significance to show how
music and spirit can unite the world. Known as the “Pope’s
Maestro” for his friendship with Pope John Paul II, Levine is
uniquely qualified to lead this tribute in music, a language that
supersedes all cultural boundaries. The concert was the result
of a partnership between WETA, Georgetown University, the
Archdiocese of Washington and the embassies of Poland, Italy,
Argentina and the Holy See.
A production of Pax Per Musicam Foundation and Georgetown University, in
association with WETA Washington, D.C. Major funding for the broadcast provided
by Tom and Gayle Benson; Alfred H. Moses and Fern Schad; Chandler and Paul
Tagliabue; and The Hariri Foundation.
James McNeill Whistler & The Case for Beauty
Makers: Women Who Make America
SEPTEMBER 12, 2014
THE RADICAL ARTISTIC visionary James McNeill Whistler is the subject of this documentary
that examines his life and contentious career. The 19th-century artist introduced
ideas and forms that were avant-garde in his time. Whistler pioneered a new way of
thinking about art that supported beauty in and of itself as a work’s most essential
value, what we know today as “art for art’s sake.” The film features nearly 200 etchings,
paintings and historical photographs. With an exquisite eye to detail, the film also
presents reenactments of Whistler’s life and the behind-the-scenes work on several
of his famous paintings, including one of the most iconic works of art in history,
“Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1” — popularly known as “Whistler’s Mother”
— and the famed masterpiece of decorative arts, “The Peacock Room.”
A SERIES OF one-hour documentaries explores the stories of women in six spheres of endeavor
— comedy, Hollywood, space, politics, business and war. Featured subjects include comedians
Sarah Silverman and Ellen DeGeneres, actress Jane Fonda and television showrunner Shonda Rhimes,
astronauts Mae Jemison and Peggy Whitson, political leaders Hillary Clinton and Sen. Lisa Murkowski
(R-AK), business leaders Cathy Hughes and Sheryl Sandberg, and U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Michelle
Howard and former CIA officer Valerie Plame Wilson. The series expands on the critically acclaimed
three-hour WETA documentary, Makers: Women Who Make America, which tells the story of the
American women’s movement over the last half-century. The six new films, directed and produced
by leading independent filmmakers, build on the multi-platform initiative developed by AOL that
aims to be the largest collection of women’s stories ever assembled and includes a growing online
collection of more than 250 original interviews.
A production of Film Odyssey, Inc., in association with the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery,
Smithsonian Institution; 1-A Productions, Ltd., Glasgow; and WETA Washington, D.C. Major funding provided by the
National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional funding provided by the Lunder Foundation; the Annenberg
Foundation; the Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; the DC Commission
on the Arts and Humanities; the Humanities Council of Washington, D.C.; and the Maryland Humanities Council.
Funding also provided by PBS and public television viewers.
A production of Kunhardt McGee Productions in association with Loki Films, Moxie Firecracker Films, Ark Media and
WETA Washington, D.C. Major funding provided by AOL. Additional corporate funding provided by Simple Facial Skincare
and Verizon. Foundation funding provided by The Charles H. Revson Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Support also
provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.
Jay Leno: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize
NOVEMBER 23, 2014
A STAR-STUDDED CAST of friends and colleagues honors Jay Leno, the comedian and longtime
host of The Tonight Show, at a riotous celebration of the 17th recipient of The Kennedy Center
Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. With tributes, performances, and highlights from
Leno’s legendary career, the stage at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is
alight with musicians, actors and comedians, including Garth Brooks, Kristin Chenoweth,
Kevin Eubanks, Jimmy Fallon, Chelsea Handler, Robert Klein, Al Madrigal, Seth Myers, Jerry
Seinfeld, JB Smoove and Wanda Sykes, with special appearances by Jamie Foxx and Betty White.
A production of WETA Washington, D.C.; The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; CoMedia, Inc.; Mark Krantz
Productions; and Cappy Productions. Corporate funding provided by Capital One and Comcast-NBCUniversal. Major funding
provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television viewers. Air travel generously provided by
American Airlines.
The Gospel Tradition:
In Performance at the White House
A Salute to the Troops:
In Performance at the White House
JUNE 26, 2015
NOVEMBER 7, 2014
GOSPEL MUSIC and its profound influence on American music
are the focus of this concert special, hosted by President
and Mrs. Obama at the White House. The program spotlights
performances by Bishop Rance Allen, Pastor Shirley Caesar,
Rodney Crowell, Aretha Franklin, Rhiannon Giddens,
Emmylou Harris, Darlene Love, Lyle Lovett, Tamela Mann,
the Morgan State University Choir and Michelle Williams
— with musician and producer T Bone Burnett as executive
music director and broadcast anchor Robin Roberts as
program host. The Gospel Tradition is the 54th production
in the 37-year history of the WETA series In Performance at
the White House. In tandem with the concert, the first lady
continued her tradition of hosting an educational workshop
for students from across the country. “The History of Gospel
Music,” which underscored the music’s influence on blues,
soul, rhythm and blues, and rock ’n’ roll, was produced by
The Grammy Museum.®
PRESIDENT AND MRS. OBAMA host a concert special in tribute
to the military men and women who serve the United States.
The program features Mary J. Blige, Common, John Fogerty,
Hill Harper, Logan Lerman, Willie Nelson and Romeo Santos.
Additional performers are active-duty personnel U.S. Army
Sgt. Christiana R. Ball and Capt. Matt Smith and Capt. John
Ed Auer of the U.S. Marine Corps. The special also includes
a performance by Daughtry from the band’s USO concert at
Yokota Air Base in Japan. A Salute to the Troops was taped on
the South Lawn of the White House before an audience that
included hundreds of military service personnel. The program
was rebroadcast on Veterans Day via the American Forces
Network to U.S. troops and civilians worldwide. Mrs. Obama
also hosted a student workshop titled “The Stars and Stripes
Forever: A History of Music and the Military,” produced by
The Grammy Museum.®
A production of WETA Washington, D.C., in association with CoMedia, Inc.; Mark
Krantz Productions; Cappy Productions; The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live; and
TV One. Corporate funding provided by PepsiCo. Foundation support provided
by The Annenberg Foundation. Major funding also provided by the Corporation
for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television viewers. Air travel generously
provided by American Airlines.
A production of WETA Washington, D.C., in association with AEG Ehrlich Ventures,
LLC; and The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live. Made possible by a special collaboration
with USO of Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore and USO, Inc. A joint sponsorship
by The Boeing Company and Lockheed Martin provided major corporate funding for
this event. Additional funders include the Anne Ray Charitable Trust, the Annenberg
Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television viewers.
A Capitol Fourth
JULY 4, 2014
and fireworks special, celebrating Independence Day, features performances by an array of artists
including Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Frankie Valli and Grammy Award-winning music legend Patti LaBelle. Also onstage with
host Tom Bergeron are multi-platinum recording artist and actress Jordin Sparks; platinum recording artist and songwriter
Phillip Phillips; five-time Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Michael McDonald; country music superstar Sara Evans;
singer-songwriter Kendall Schmidt; Broadway star Kelli O’Hara; and world-famous Muppets Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy,
performing with the National Symphony Orchestra. In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the national anthem, Academy
Award-winning composer John Williams conducts his special new arrangement of “The Star-Spangled Banner” before an
audience of hundreds of thousands of people on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol and millions at home. The program was also
broadcast via the American Forces Network to U.S. service personnel and civilians around the world.
A co-production of Capital Concerts and WETA Washington, D.C. Made possible by grants from The Boeing Company, National Park Service, the Corporation for Public
Broadcasting, Department of the Army, public television viewers and PBS. Air travel provided by American Airlines.
National Memorial Day Concert
MAY 24, 2015
of remembrance honors courageous
American heroes who have been disabled for life, shines a
spotlight on Gold Star Children who have lost a parent to war,
and commemorates the 70th anniversary of the end of World
War II. Actors Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise co-host the
annual performance special, marking their 10th anniversary
on the broadcast. Both actors have dedicated themselves to
veterans’ causes and supporting the troops in active service.
Presented live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, the
program lineup includes distinguished American leader
Gen. Colin L. Powell USA (Ret.), international superstar
Gloria Estefan, acclaimed actress Stefanie Scott, singer
Tessanne Chin, mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins, renowned
tenor Russell Watson, and the nation’s top military musical
ensembles, in performance with the National Symphony
Orchestra under the direction of conductor Jack Everly.
The program was also broadcast via the American Forces
Network to U.S. service personnel and civilians around the
A co-production of Capital Concerts and WETA Washington, D.C. Made possible by
grants from Lockheed Martin Corporation, National Park Service, the Corporation
for Public Broadcasting, Department of the Army, General Dynamics, PBS and public
television viewers.
Billy Joel: The Library of Congress
Gershwin Prize
JANUARY 2, 2015
PIANO MAN BILLY JOEL , the seventh recipient of the Library
of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, is honored
with music from Joel’s hit-filled songbook. Paying tribute at
DAR Constitution Hall are Tony Bennett, Boyz II Men, Gavin
DeGraw, Michael Feinstein, Josh Groban, Natalie Maines, John
Mellencamp and LeAnn Rimes — as well as a dance ensemble
performance from Twyla Tharp’s production “Movin’ Out.”
Among the musical offerings, actor Kevin Spacey leads an
ensemble performance of “Piano Man” and Joel presents
lively renditions of his own piano-fueled narratives, including
“Movin’ Out” and “You May Be Right.” The Gershwin Prize is
named in honor of the legendary George and Ira Gershwin
and recognizes the profound, positive effect of popular music
worldwide. The honorees are composers or performers whose
lifetime contributions exemplify the standard of excellence
associated with the Gershwin brothers.
A production of WETA Washington, D.C., in association with Bounce, a division of
AEG. Funding provided by the Anne Ray Charitable Trust and AARP. Major funding
provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television
viewers. Air transportation generously provided by United Airlines.
Martha Stewart’s Cooking School
Martha Bakes
MARTHA STEWART OFFERS viewers valuable cooking fundamentals in these two engaging series.
In Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, she provides culinary master classes using her signature
step-by-step, how-to teaching process. Stewart illustrates cooking essentials, from roasting
and poaching to braising and blanching. For the second year in a row, Martha Stewart’s
Cooking School received a James Beard Foundation award, the highest honor in the culinary
world. Another series created with production partner Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia —
Martha Bakes — enables home bakers to create the finest desserts and goodies, from scratch,
in their own kitchen. This season features such delectable treats as Mini Chocolate Whoopie
Pies, Deep Dish Pumpkin Meringue Pie and Southern Coconut Cake.;
Martha Stewart’s Cooking School: A production of Flour Productions, Inc., in association with WETA Washington, D.C. Corporate
funding provided by KitchenAid. Martha Bakes: A production of Flour Productions, Inc., in association with WETA Washington,
D.C. Season three funding provided by King Arthur Flour, Nordic Ware and Jarden Home Brands. Season four funding provided
by Domino Foods, Inc., featuring Domino® Sugar and C&H® Sugar.
Sara’s Weeknight Meals
Pati’s Mexican Table
shares her ideas for preparing
flavorful, healthy food with minimal fuss in the weekly
program. The series redefines dinner with fast, tasty
and routine-breaking entrées, based on Moulton’s
cookbook Sara’s Secrets for Weeknight Meals. In season
four, she steers viewers away from predictable patterns
with recipes for the whole family to enjoy, such as
a simple and juicy Salmon in a Bag, kid-friendly Pasta
Pizza, slow-cooking Meatball Tagine with Couscous,
budget-conscious Italian Onion Soup, easy Salad
Dressing Chicken, and the fabulously interactive Japanese
Beef Fondue.
A production of Silver Plume Productions and WETA Washington, D.C. Funding
provided by Subaru of America, Inc.; Maple Leaf Farms; and Ezra’s Dairy.
a food writer and the official chef of the Mexican
Cultural Institute of Washington, D.C., guides viewers
through the fascinating world of Mexican cuisine. Jinich
infuses her recipes with a sprinkling of culture and traditions
and demonstrates how easy it is to make delicious, regional
Mexican food at home. This season, Jinich is on the road
in Mexico, visiting San Miguel de Allende and Guanajuato
and sharing the highlights of the food scene and an array
of recipes. At home, she explores food for family gatherings,
including picnics and a tamal party — a tamaliza. Jinich also
takes a deep dive into the blending of Mexican and American
cultures, resulting in classic American recipes with a delicious
Mexican twist.
A co-production of WETA Washington, D.C., and Mexican Table LLC, in association
with Follow Productions. Made possible by Goya Foods, Inc.; Bimbo Bakeries USA;
La Morena®; the Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries
and Food; MexBest; Consejo Nacional Agropecuario, A.C. (CNA); and The Mexico
Tourism Board.
Globe Trekker
Production Pipeline
TRANSPORTING VIEWERS TO unforgettable destinations around
the world, Globe Trekker documents the adventures of
enthusiastic travel guides as they head off the beaten path.
In destinations near and far, they encounter the people who
inhabit the land, soak up the local culture, sample regional
cuisine and revel in breathtaking vistas. This year, trekkers
follow in the footsteps of countless explorers to the ends
of the earth in the South Atlantic Ocean and tour the sea
fort of Murud-Janjira in India. They travel via the infamous
Ice Train in the far north of Siberia and deep inside the Arctic
Circle, and they meet geishas in Kyoto. Adventures continue
as trekkers explore the extraordinary art trail of the French
Riviera; encounter whirling dervishes and tranquil tea
gardens in Konya, Turkey; and examine World War I sites
throughout Europe.
A production of Pilot Film and Television Productions, Ltd., in association with
WETA Washington, D.C. Funding provided by Subaru of America, Inc.
to develop, and WETA has a robust
pipeline of exceptional content in the works, including the
titles below that are planned for fiscal year 2016 and beyond.
Collaborations with Ken Burns and Florentine Films
For more than 30 years, WETA has partnered with acclaimed
filmmaker Ken Burns and his production company Florentine
Films to bring to the nation landmark history films.
The next production to premiere will be Jackie Robinson,
airing in April 2016, followed in the years to come by
The Vietnam War, Country Music and Hemingway.
Revealing America’s History
WETA productions continue to explore American history
through a variety of eras and perspectives. The documentaries
Debt of Honor, about disabled veterans in America, and
The Pilgrims (both directed by Ric Burns) air in November
2015. Additionally, the new WETA production partnership
with professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., will include season
three of the genealogy-history series Finding Your Roots as
well as the multi-part documentary Black America Since
MLK: And Still I Rise.
Front-Row Seats to Performances from the Nation’s Capital
In fiscal year 2016, WETA will present a slate of performance
shows, including Eddie Murphy: The Kennedy Center Mark
Twain Prize, Willie Nelson: The Library of Congress Gershwin
Prize for Popular Song and A Celebration of American
Creativity: In Performance at the White House.
WETA ASSISTS other quality producers in bringing select
broadcast projects to air. In fiscal year 2015, WETA provided
syndication services for the holiday favorite National
Christmas Tree Lighting 2014, the top-rated children’s series
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, and the financial news series
Nightly Business Report.
For the
For more than half a century,
WETA has enriched the
lives of residents of Greater
Washington by presenting
programming to engage
virtually every age and every
interest, encompassing
news and public affairs,
drama, performing arts,
history, science and nature,
and children’s series. The
station’s enduring mission is
to serve the community with
educational broadcasts.
WETA offers viewers an extraordinary array of program
choices, broadcasting on four channels. WETA TV 26 is the
primary channel; WETA HD offers superior picture quality;
WETA UK, offering the best in British television since 2012,
has rapidly grown a substantial audience; and WETA Kids
offers engaging, educational programming specifically for
young viewers.
One of more than 350 PBS member stations, WETA is
the flagship public television station in the nation’s capital.
In an average week, WETA reaches 2 million viewers
in the District of Columbia and 53 surrounding counties.
The centerpiece of fall programming in fiscal
year 2015 was The Roosevelts: An Intimate History,
a co-production of WETA and longtime partner
filmmaker Ken Burns. Locally, WETA extended the film’s
impact through a public screening at Washington’s
Warner Theatre and features on, including
information about the family’s impact on Washington.
The WETA UK channel furthered the public television
tradition of bringing the finest productions from
Britain to an American audience — serving a viewership
that has a tremendous appetite for British drama, comedy
and mystery.
Engaging Drama
Loyal viewers turned to WETA in fiscal year 2015
for award-winning dramas, including the penultimate
season of the acclaimed Masterpiece series Downton
Abbey. The station added to the impact of this popular
British production by hosting screenings for WETA
Masterpiece made storied figures in British history
and literature come alive for viewers: Wolf Hall, based
on the best-selling historical novel, spotlighted the court
of King Henry VIII, while Masterpiece Mystery! closed
out an enduringly popular series with the final episode
of Poirot, featuring David Suchet in his signature role
as the legendary Belgian detective.
Clockwise, from top left: Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, The Jewel in the Crown, Masterpiece: Poldark,
Line of Duty, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, Masterpiece: Downton Abbey, Masterpiece: Wolf Hall.
WETA UK has been the resource for loyal viewers
to reconnect with many landmark British productions.
In 2015, the station brought back such PBS touchstones
as The Jewel in the Crown and the original Masterpiece
Classic production of Poldark, setting the stage for the
premiere of a new production of the engaging story.
News, Arts and More
Local Content
British mystery is perennially popular, led on WETA UK
by Midsomer Murders with its clever, affable detective
solving crimes amid the idyllic English countryside. The
robust mystery lineup also featured Inspector Morse, Pie in
the Sky, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and Father Brown.
WETA continues to be a vital source of trusted news,
insightful analysis and illuminating content. Having
set the standard of quality and integrity for journalism,
the WETA-produced PBS NewsHour and Washington
Week with Gwen Ifill remained audience staples
throughout the year.
Performance programming has been in the station’s DNA
since its beginnings, and this year’s offerings included
performances from Washington landmarks via such
iconic series as In Performance at the White House, The
Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize and A Capitol Fourth.
Frontline, the multi-award-winning documentary series,
featured a variety of powerful in-depth reports, ranging
in topic from the Ebola crisis in West Africa to the rise
of ISIS. The new series SciTech Now kept viewers up to
date on the meteoric changes in technology and their
effects on the way we live.
Science and nature offerings remain program pillars on
WETA. Spotlighted this past year was Penguins: Spy in
the Huddle, A Nature Special, exploring the challenges
facing penguins around the world. Viewers also were
enthusiastic about Earth: A New Wild, a series examining
the link between humans and animals.
The mysteries of science were decoded for viewers
via powerful programming such as Nova: Vaccines —
Calling the Shots, an in-depth exploration of the current
controversy surrounding vaccines and risks posed by
parents opting out. The Great Math Mystery illuminated
the story of mathematics, revealing its history and role
in making the world work.
In advance of the groundbreaking WETA co-production,
Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, WETA TV 26
produced a 30-minute special offering a first glimpse
of the series. Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies —
A Conversation was taped before a live audience at
The George Washington University and featured a
conversation with the film’s principals. WETA also
conducted area screening-and-discussion events
and partnered with members of the local healthcare
community to create a dialogue on the important
content covered in both productions.
WETA created content specifically for the Washington
community, in support of national productions
The Italian Americans and Finding Your Roots. The
mini-documentaries covered Italian-American life,
culture and food in the Washington area and
local resources for viewers interested in starting
genealogical research.
In addition, led the way in expanding viewer
interaction surrounding programs that examined America’s
Vietnam War experience on the 30th anniversary of the
end of the conflict. The Boundary Stones blog spotlighted
area events and landmarks associated with the Vietnam era,
sparking dialogue with members of the community who
lived through those turbulent times.
To connect with the diverse community that WETA
serves, the station scheduled a variety of special-interest
programming throughout the year via celebrations of
history months and more, featuring such programs as
The March and Independent Lens: Kumu Hina.
Ongoing local series WETA Around Town and WETA Arts,
long popular with devoted viewers, illuminated the area’s
rich cultural scene for audiences of all ages. Looking
ahead to 2016, WETA Neighborhoods, a new series of
half-hour documentaries, will feature a wealth of stories
highlighting the people and places that contribute to the
identity of the Washington-area community. Among the
neighborhoods to be profiled are Anacostia, Capitol Hill,
Dupont Circle and Georgetown.
Clockwise, from top left: American Experience: Last Days in Vietnam, Frontline: The Fight for
Yemen, Nova: The Great Math Mystery, Nature: Best of Birds, Independent Lens: Kumu Hina,
The March, Father Brown, The Gospel Tradition: In Performance at the White House.
The WETA TV 26 production Washington in the ’80s
premiered, extending the award-winning series begun
with programs on the 1960s and ’70s and featuring pivotal
public figures who shaped the decade, as well as some
of the area’s distinctive characters. Viewers were also
drawn to for articles, images and playlists
reminiscent of the decade.
WETA produced the 90-minute documentary Discovering
Alexandria: The Early Years, an in-depth exploration
of the city’s outsized role in American history from the
17th through the 19th centuries and bringing Alexandria’s
rich heritage to life. A second film exploring Alexandria’s
modern history is slated to premiere in 2016.
For Children
The education of children has always been at the core
of the WETA mission. The station presents a wide array
of children’s programs, from classic favorites to new
series that help children learn on-air and online. WETA
dedicates around-the-clock service on the WETA Kids
channel, as well as weekday mornings on WETA TV 26,
to unsurpassed children’s programming.
Front and center among the offerings this year were two
premieres: America’s favorite Muppet monster starred
in The Cookie Thief, an engaging special from Sesame
Workshop. The popular, acclaimed Odd Squad series,
designed to teach math to five- to eight-year-olds, follows
the heroic exploits of quirky agents Olive and Otto, who
employ math skills to save the day.
WETA Kids is also home to stalwart programs that
have long entertained and educated children. Clifford
The Big Red Dog continued to engage new generations
of youngsters, and Curious George remained endlessly
intrigued with his latest adventures, as did the station’s
youngest viewers.
Throughout the year, WETA connected with local families
at various community events. The station participated
in the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library’s STAR
Family Festival, designed to encourage parents to sing,
talk and read to their children. In partnership with
Telemundo, WETA took part in La Feria de la Familia,
a day of family activities at the D.C. Armory.
With children’s literacy a primary focus, WETA Kids
conducted a writing contest for kindergarten through
third-grade students in conjunction with a national
initiative led by PBS. The station received nearly 400
entries from children in Greater Washington, with this
year’s first-place winners hailing from Virginia.
This year, WETA Kids Ready to Learn — an initiative
that teaches parents and caregivers methods for building
early reading skills — presented 87 workshops across
the region, reaching nearly 800 parents, teachers and
childcare providers. As part of the Where Literacy
Begins project — introducing parents and caregivers to
inexpensive, enjoyable activities that provide children
the key building blocks for later success in school — WETA
presented 24 workshops, making a profound, lifelong
impact on participating families.
Clockwise, from top left: Discovering Alexandria: The Early Years, WETA Around Town,
Curious George, Clifford The Big Red Dog, Odd Squad, WETA volunteer and guests at the
STAR Family Festival, Washington in the ’80s.
Music for
The Nation’s
Classical WETA 90.9 FM grew
both its reach and reputation
this year, achieved through rich,
diverse musical offerings that,
above all, showcase the vibrant,
thriving classical music scene
in the community — making
Classical WETA a treasured cultural
institution in Greater Washington.
Top: Joshua Bell (National Symphony Orchestra Season
Opening Ball Concert). Bottom, from left: Johan Botha in the
Metropolitan Opera’s production of Die Meistersinger von
Nürnberg (Classical WETA Opera House), National Symphony
Orchestra with music director Christoph Eschenbach, brass
musicians, pianist Charlie Albright (Front Row Washington).
Classical WETA has a devoted audience of nearly 500,000
weekly listeners, who tune in regularly to hear the world’s
finest soloists and ensembles from the station’s vast
music library. In addition, tens of thousands listen weekly
via live stream at
The majestic music — orchestral, chamber, opera,
choral, solo and more — is made accessible to listeners
through the encyclopedic musical knowledge and
genuine warmth of hosts David Ginder, Marilyn Cooley,
Bill Bukowski, Nicole Lacroix, Deb Lamberton, Linda
Carducci, Chip Brienza, James Jacobs and John Banther.
The station is the classical music source in Greater
Washington, via 90.9 FM and HD channel 90.9-1 in
Washington, 88.9 FM in Frederick and WGMS 89.1 FM
in Hagerstown. The broadcast area covers Greater
Washington and extends to Baltimore, Annapolis and
Hagerstown in Maryland; Purcellville, Front Royal and
Stafford in Virginia; and Gettysburg and the Cumberland
Valley in Pennsylvania.
Among this year’s highlights was the broadcast of
A Celebration of Peace Through Music, which brought
together some of the world’s greatest orchestras and
choral groups in a spiritual tribute to three revered
figures: Pope John XXIII, Pope John Paul II and Pope
Francis. Classical WETA distributed the milestone
concert, organized by conductor Sir Gilbert Levine
and staged at DAR Constitution Hall, to classical music
stations around the country.
The partnership with the National Symphony Orchestra
continues to thrive, with ongoing broadcasts of
NSO Showcase. In addition, Classical WETA presented live
the National Symphony Orchestra Season Opening Ball
Concert, a touchstone event on the Washington classical
music scene.
The long-standing, ever-popular series Front Row
Washington highlighted a range of classical performances
in the community in fiscal year 2015. Featured concerts
took place in some of the area’s most distinguished
settings, including the National Gallery of Art,
the Kreeger Museum and the Phillips Collection.
Classical WETA Opera House remains a Saturday
afternoon tradition throughout the region, presenting
live performances from the Metropolitan Opera in New
York as well as recordings of live performances from
the world’s other great opera companies and venues,
including the Royal Opera House and the Palais Garnier.
VivaLaVoce, the dedicated classical vocal music
station, continued to offer listeners a diverse array of
programming around the clock. The station features
opera, choral music and art song and can be heard on
HD channel 90.9-2 and online through the audio player
Over the course of the year, captivated
listeners through a wealth of engaging online content.
“Classical Countdown” invited fans to vote for musical
favorites, with the top 90 choices played during
Thanksgiving week. “Classical Conversations,” a series
of intimate discussions between Classical WETA on-air
hosts and world-class performers, composers and artists,
was also a fan favorite.
Classical WETA hosts are respected figures within the
area’s music scene, and they continued to forge
enduring ties with the community through frequent
appearances at community music and arts festivals across
the region. Highlights include the Folger Shakespeare
Library’s annual Open House and Shakespeare’s Birthday
Celebration and the performance of Handel’s Messiah at
Washington National Cathedral.
That Change
WETA Learning Media is the
go-to source online for a wide range
of constituents seeking educational
resources related to a variety of
learning needs, from teachers and
parents of students pre-K through
12th grade struggling with learning
to members of the military living
with traumatic brain injuries.
The Web-based initiatives offer
information and community
to people who otherwise may not
know where to turn for help.
Fiscal year 2015 was the most successful year to date for
WETA Learning Media national websites, which served
more than 13 million unique visitors. Reading Rockets,
Colorín Colorado,, Start with a Book, BrainLine
and BrainLine Military all set records for traffic to the
sites. Collectively, the projects attracted nearly 300,000
followers on social media.
In its 13th year, Reading Rockets — the award-winning
national multimedia initiative that offers research-based
information and resources for parents and educators to help
children learn to read ­— attracted nearly 18 million page
views and more than 7 million unique visitors to the website,
a 24 percent increase from the previous year. The project
maintains a robust presence on social media and received
more than 1 million YouTube views this year.
The Colorín Colorado initiative reached more than
2 million parents and teachers of English-language
learners, providing resources to help students attain
academic and professional success. The service addresses
critical matters related to Latino students, now nearly
one quarter of the U.S. school population. Among the
year’s new content were videos demonstrating effective
instruction of English-language learners.
LD Online, providing help for people with learning
disabilities, began production on video pieces about
learning differences, dyslexia and ADHD, featuring
nationally recognized experts Dr. Thomas Brown,
Dr. Guinevere Eden and Dr. Mark Griffin.
The one-of-a-kind initiative BrainLine provides key
information on preventing, treating, and living with a
traumatic brain injury (TBI). In fiscal year 2015, WETA
began production on a new BrainLine project that gives
teachers the tools to work most effectively with students
who have sustained a TBI.
Start with a Book established strong connections with
local summer programs serving lower-income children in
the Washington area, with the project website reaching
more than 100,000 parents and educators —
­ nearly
double the number of visitors from the previous year.
Start with a Book aims to strengthen literacy skills
and prevent summer learning loss in young children,
especially those at risk.
BrainLine Military — which helps service members
and veterans who have sustained a TBI or suffer from
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and their
families and the professionals who work with them —
added relevant new content that addresses the distinctive
needs of these individuals and their families. From
articles and videos to expert interviews and personal
stories, these valuable tools make it possible for users
to connect with experts and with each other.
New this fiscal year for — which helps students
in grades 6-12 become better readers and writers — is
a video project with the National Writing Project and
the Center for Inspired Teaching (CIT), in collaboration
with the District of Columbia Public Schools. The goal of
the “Real World History” project is to demonstrate how
students can develop their skills as historians and
to showcase effective teaching strategies using the
Common Core State Standards. is funded by the National Writing Project and The Poses Family
Foundation. • BrainLine and BrainLine Military are funded by the Bob Woodruff
Foundation, the Infinite Hero Foundation, American Institutes for Research, and
the Center on Brain Injury Research and Training at the University of Oregon. • Major
support for Colorín Colorado is provided by founding partner, the American
Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, with generous support provided by the National
Education Association. • LD Online is funded by Lindamood-Bell Learning
Processes. • Reading Rockets is funded by The Poses Family Foundation. • Start
with a Book is funded by Park Foundation, Inc.
WETA Financial Report
For Fiscal Year 2015
The flagship public broadcaster in the nation’s capital, WETA
is a careful steward of the funds generously entrusted to the station
from a variety of public and private sources. As a not-for-profit
organization licensed to the community of Greater Washington,
WETA is dedicated to a mission of public service, providing vibrant
television and radio programming, engaging digital content and
important educational services beyond broadcast.
THE FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE of WETA was strong in fiscal
year 2015 (July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015), generating more than
$4.7 million in operating income and a $2.8 million increase
in unrestricted net assets. This positive financial outcome
was the result of generous contributions from individuals,
corporations and foundations, coupled with disciplined
and cost-effective financial management. The invaluable
support from these sources and the community service
grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)
provide the essential funds that enable WETA to continue
to serve the community.
Beyond the strong financial results, WETA achieved
a number of notable operational accomplishments this year.
In fiscal year 2015, WETA assumed full management and
financial responsibility for PBS NewsHour and delivered
better-than-breakeven financial results for the program,
in addition to growing digital and broadcast audiences.
Local Broadcasting Operations
WETA depends on broad-based local support to fulfill its
community service mission. Contributions from individuals
provide more than half of the funding for local television
and radio broadcasts and power the WETA website. These
contributions, along with support from local businesses and
organizations, provide the foundation for local broadcasting
operations and community outreach services.
Individuals 56%
Corporate Underwriting & Funding $2,553,961
Other Income $1,329,324
Federal & State Government $101,767
3% 2%
Public Broadcasting Support 22%
Corporate Underwriting & Funding 41%
Foundations & Not-for-Profits Individuals Other Income $18,218,063
TOTAL $66,612,611
Federal & State Government Operating Expenses
More than 80 percent of every dollar that WETA raises goes
to pay for radio, television and online services. The remaining
expenses are utilized to develop and steward the donations
received and to build and maintain the infrastructure that
will enable WETA to continue to serve the community for
years to come. Generous financial support from diverse
sources provides WETA with the resources necessary to
withstand periodic economic challenges and to expand its
public media services to the community.
Public Broadcasting Support Foundations & Not-for-Profits National Television Production
National television productions are significant financial
contributors that help fund the station’s operations and
its education and outreach initiatives. The impressive slate
of productions this year included Cancer: The Emperor
of All Maladies and The Roosevelts: An Intimate History,
both produced with Ken Burns, plus a strong schedule
of performance programs from the White House, the
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the
grounds of the U.S. Capitol.
PBS NewsHour was successfully relaunched in fiscal year
2015 under WETA ownership and management. With a new
studio set and updated on-air graphics and music for fiscal
year 2016, PBS NewsHour is poised to build on that success.
Washington Week with Gwen Ifill continues to be a vital
program in the PBS national primetime schedule and,
along with other projects in the WETA national production
portfolio, delivered strong financial results for WETA.
3% 1%
3% 3%
National Programming & Productions
Television Broadcasting
Education, Outreach & Promotion
Management & General
Radio Broadcasting
TOTAL $92,851,792
WETA financial statements are audited annually by a certified public accounting firm.
WETA Production Center
the Greater
Washington area and around the world
choose the WETA Production Center
to create programs for domestic and
international television networks,
government agencies, commercial
syndication, corporations and
universities. With the latest in highdefinition technology, the fully equipped
television studios and control rooms
include robust fiber-optic and satellite
connectivity, AVID edit rooms and
experienced crews as well as an array
of connections to newsmaker hotspots.
The Production Center is home to
the WETA productions PBS NewsHour,
Washington Week with Gwen Ifill, WETA
Around Town and WETA Arts. In early
2015, work commenced on the creation
of a new set for PBS NewsHour. With a
move to a larger studio, the newscast’s
new space increases production
flexibility with multiple arrangements
for interviews, reports and discussions
in studio and by remote.
Licensed to the community
of Greater Washington, WETA
relies on the generous support
of viewers and listeners in the
region to fund the station’s radio
and television endeavors and
local activities. This includes
community educational
initiatives, production of
local programs, and the
many engaging, high-quality
broadcasts the station provides
to the public.
EARNING THE ENDURING trust and respect of the people of
the national capital area over the last half-century, WETA
has developed an extraordinarily loyal membership base
that actively underwrites the company’s mission of public
service. In this fiscal year, 107,000 WETA supporters —
whose annual gifts range from $5 to $999 — donated nearly
$14 million, or 43 percent of the station’s local operating
budget, constituting the largest single source of funding
for the station.
These individuals view their WETA membership as
an investment not only in the excellent programming
that they enjoy but also in the many educational services
WETA provides. Members see the products and services
of the station as an investment in their entire community,
and their support ensures that WETA programming and
services remain accessible to all, for generations to come.
In gratitude to generous members, WETA conducts
online giveaways of tickets to cultural events and extends
invitations to program screenings and other special
offerings. In fiscal year 2015, WETA members were invited
to screenings of Masterpiece: Downton Abbey, Cancer:
The Emperor of All Maladies and The Roosevelts: An Intimate
History. The station also offered tickets to an awards
ceremony that WETA recorded for broadcast nationwide:
Billy Joel: The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize.
WETA Sustaining Members
More individuals than ever are choosing to become
sustaining members — loyal supporters who provide a
steady stream of funds through monthly contributions.
In fiscal year 2015, nearly 14,000 sustainers provided the
critical, reliable funds that the station depends on to
ensure the continued success of WETA Television and
Classical WETA 90.9 FM. WETA is extraordinarily grateful
for these long-term commitments to the station’s mission.
The WETA volunteer corps is composed of dedicated
individuals who support WETA by donating their time and
talent to the station. Unique services include representing
WETA at community events, answering phones during
pledge drives, and assisting staff at WETA headquarters.
This year, more than 250 loyal volunteers contributed
nearly 4,600 hours of their time to WETA. The station is
particularly grateful to these esteemed supporters, the
lifeblood of the institution.
Above: WETA volunteer at Discover Engineering Family Day. Bottom, from left: WETA members
at Masterpiece: Downton Abbey screening at Washington Marriott Wardman Park,
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History screening and discussion at Warner Theatre.
WETA Community Advisory Council
the counsel of the WETA Community Advisory Council, composed of individuals who volunteer
their time to serve as a voice of the community to WETA regarding programming, outreach services and
public activities. These dedicated friends of WETA represent various civic, social and welfare groups and other
organizations located within the Greater Washington region.
WETA Leadership Circle
THE SILVER SALUTE, a festive event celebrating Sharon Percy Rockefeller’s
25 years of outstanding leadership as president and CEO of WETA, raised more
than $2,060,000. Nearly 600 guests attended the June 3 event, demonstrating
their strong support for the station’s future programming and services.
David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, served as
chairman of the event and held an onstage conversation with Rockefeller about
her service to the public and her accomplishments at WETA. Chairman of the
WETA Board of Trustees Timothy Coughlin was chairman of The Silver Salute
Patron Committee and participated in the program. The evening also featured
His Excellency Sir Peter Westmacott, ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland, who served as an honorary diplomatic patron,
as well as PBS luminaries Ken Burns, Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff.
WETA appreciates the generosity of its loyal Leadership Circle donors,
whose annual philanthropic gifts enable WETA to continue its tradition of
providing high-quality programming and important community services.
$100,000 +
$50,000 TO $99,999
$25,000 TO $49,999
$10,000 TO $24,999
4 donors
2 donors
20 donors
54 donors
$5,000 TO $9,999
$2,000 TO $4,999
$1,000 TO $1,999
61 donors
311 donors
849 donors
WETA Leadership Circle
Salon Series
THE WETA SALON SERIES offers unique experiences related to
the programming on WETA Television and Classical WETA
90.9 FM. Throughout the year, generous donors had the
opportunity to hear thought-provoking speakers and
attend live local performances. The events included midterm
elections insight from Mark Shields and Judy Woodruff of
PBS NewsHour, the presentation of the Library of Congress
Gershwin Prize for Popular Song to Billy Joel, a cooking
demonstration and dinner with Chef Lidia Bastianich, and
a private music recital at the Embassy of Argentina.
Friends of Classical Music
Leadership Circle music lovers supports
Classical WETA 90.9 FM with annual investments of $1,000
or more. These generous donors, who ensure the vitality
of Washington's only classical music radio station, enjoy
behind-the-scenes tours of the station, opportunities to
meet on-air hosts, and private recitals — including one this
year by members of the Pan American Symphony Orchestra.
His Excellency Sir Peter Westmacott
Ambassador of the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Northern Ireland
and Lady Westmacott
Timothy and Laura Coughlin,
Patron Committee Chairs
Louise and John Bryson
Calvin and Jane Cafritz
Carter and Melissa Cafritz
Cherrie W. Doggett
Gregory and Christa
Ronald and Kit Gordon
John and Deborah Hechinger
Roger and Helen Krone
Susan Lee and Stephen
Sally and Alan Merten
Anne and Bob Quinn
Edward and Nancy Rice
George Rice
Charles Rockefeller
John D. Rockefeller V and
Emily Rockefeller
Justin and Indré Rockefeller
Sudhaker and Bina Shenoy
Catherine Stevens
Paul and Chandler Tagliabue
Eileen and Michael Tanner
John and Susan Ulfelder
Valerie and Steven Wayne
Christopher Wolf and
James L. Beller, Jr.
Friends of the NewsHour
David M. Rubenstein
initiative sustains the PBS NewsHour
as the source for calm, nonpartisan, serious, in-depth news for
public television audiences on broadcast and digital platforms.
Friends of the NewsHour donations help protect the legacy
of the NewsHour and provide for its future. WETA is most
grateful to the donors who contributed in fiscal year 2015.
J.W. Marriott, Jr.
Senator John D. Rockefeller IV
David Rockefeller
Elizabeth P. Campbell
Legacy Society
so strongly about the future of
WETA Television and Classical WETA 90.9 FM that they
have included the station in their will, trust or IRA or have
established a charitable gift annuity. WETA thanks these
special donors for their thoughtful commitment and is
honored to include them in the Elizabeth P. Campbell
Legacy Society.
From left: Nature: Animal Childhood; President Jimmy Carter and PBS NewsHour's
Judy Woodruff; members of the Pan American Symphony Orchestra at the Embassy
of Argentina; Sharon Percy Rockefeller and David Rubenstein at the WETA Silver Salute.
The WETA Program Fund for Excellence
The Silver Salute, WETA launched the Program Fund for Excellence, a special fund made possible by an
extraordinarily generous gift from the Eugene B. Casey Foundation. The Program Fund for Excellence will enable WETA
to continue to develop promising new programming of intellectual integrity and cultural merit.
Local Underwriting
WETA is grateful to the corporate
entities that supported WETA
Television, Classical WETA 90.9 FM,
WETA Magazine, and local
initiatives in fiscal year 2015.
Advocates for
Homeless Families, Inc.
Alexandria Symphony Orchestra
All Souls Memorial
Episcopal Church
Amadeus Concerts
American Association for
Cancer Research
American Friends of the
Czech Republic
American Guild of Organists
Armed Forces
Benefit Association (AFBA)
The Art League
Aspiration Media
Attila Glatz Concert
Bach Choir of Bethlehem
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
at Strathmore
The Boeing Company
British-American Business
Cancer Treatment
Centers of America
Candlewick Press
Cantate Chamber Singers
Capital Art Fair
Castleton Festival
Cathedral Choral Society
The Catholic University of
America Benjamin T. Rome
School of Music
The Catholic University of
America School of Business
and Economics
Center for the Arts at
George Mason University
CFA Society Washington, D.C.
The Chevy Chase House
The Choral Arts Society
of Washington
The Choralis Foundation
The City Choir of Washington
Clarice Smith Performing Arts
Center at the
University of Maryland
Classical Movements
Cogent Communications, Inc.
Columbia Records
Cox Communications, Inc.
Crafts America, LLC
Dakshina/Daniel Phoenix Singh
Dance Company
DC Commission on the Arts and
Duke Ellington School of the Arts
Dulles Golf Center & Sports Park
Dumbarton Concerts
Eiger Potomac
The Embassy Series
Embraer SA
European Union
From left: Vicious, WETA Magazine — the monthly program guide for members.
Fairfax Choral Society
The Florida Keys & Key West
Folger Shakespeare Library
Ford’s Theatre
Foundation for the
National Archives
Friday Morning Music Club
Gay Men’s Chorus of
Washington, D.C.
George Washington’s
Mount Vernon
Georgetown University
School of Continuing Studies
Georgetown University School
of Nursing & Health Studies
Giant Food of Maryland, Inc.
Graham Holdings Company
Greater Williamsburg Chamber
and Tourism Alliance
Harness, Dickey & Pierce, PLC
Harriet Tubman
Underground Railroad Byway
Hill Center at the
Old Naval Hospital
Hillwood Estate,
Museum & Gardens
The Hylton
Performing Arts Center
Independent Television Service
Janssen Oncology
Jenner & Block LLP
The John E. Marlow Guitar Series
The John F. Kennedy Center
for the Performing Arts
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Kazakh-American Association
Keller Benefit Services
Levine School of Music
The Lincoln Motor Company
Little Hands Music
Live Nation
Madeira School
Manassas Ballet Theatre
Manassas Symphony Orchestra
Maryland Lyric Opera
Merritt Academy/
The Appletree School
The Mitchell Gallery
at St. John’s College
The Modell Performing
Arts Center at the Lyric
Montgomery College
MWH Global, Inc.
National Chamber Ensemble
National Children’s Chorus
National Gallery of Art
National Geographic Museum
National Philharmonic
National Presbyterian Church
The National Theatre D.C.
Nemours Mansion and Gardens
Open Road Films
Opera Lafayette
PBS NewsHour Weekend
Politics & Prose Bookstore
Prague Freedom Foundation
Putney Student Travel
Quatt Associates, Inc.
The Reston Chorale
Ronald Reagan Building and
International Trade Center
Rosenthal Automotive Group
Savvy Rest, Inc.
Shakespeare Opera Theatre
Shakespeare Theatre Company
Smithsonian Institution –
American Art Museum
Smithsonian Institution –
Freer Gallery of Art and
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Smithsonian Institution –
National Air and
Space Museum
Smithsonian Institution –
National Museum of
American History
Smithsonian Institution –
National Portrait Gallery
Sony Music
Sony Pictures Classics
St. John’s Episcopal Church
St. Jude Medical Foundation
State Department Federal
Credit Union
The Studio Theatre
Sun & Ski
Ten Thousand Villages
Thunderbird School of
Global Management at
Arizona State University
Turkish Festival, Washington, D.C.
Twentieth Century Fox
Film Corporation
United States Army –
Military District of Washington
Vocal Arts DC
The Walt Disney Studios
Warner Brothers Records
Washington Antiquarian
Book Fair
Washington Bach Consortium
Washington Balalaika Society
The Washington Ballet
The Washington Chorus
Washington Concert Opera
Washington Master Chorale
Washington Men’s Camerata
Washington National Cathedral
Washington Performing Arts
Washington Symphonic Brass
Waterford Concert Series
Wintergreen Performing Arts
Winterthur, Museum Garden
& Library
Wolf Trap Foundation for the
Performing Arts
Wu Promotion
Your Part-Time Controller
General and Program Support
Foundation Support
the foundations that provided general and program support
for fiscal year 2015, allowing flexibility in creating and delivering broadcast
services and educational initiatives for the community.
The Austin Foundation, Inc.
Walter A. Bloedorn Foundation
The Morris and
Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation
Eugene B. Casey Foundation
The Dallas Morse Coors Foundation
for the Performing Arts
Marshall B. Coyne Foundation
The Dana Foundation
Nelson B. Delavan Foundation
Delman Mortenson
Charitable Foundation
Dimick Foundation
The Max and Victoria Dreyfus
Foundation, Inc.
The Richard Eaton Foundation
The Robert M. Fisher Memorial
Foundation, Inc. — A Foundation of
the Jess and Mildred Fisher Family
John G. and Jean R. Gosnell Foundation
Kellar Family Foundation
The Jacob and
Charlotte Lehrman Foundation
Lichtenberg Family Foundation
The Maple Tree Fund
The J. Willard and
Alice S. Marriott Foundation
Richard E. and
Nancy P. Marriott Foundation
MAXIMUS Foundation
The Meredith Foundation
The Millstream Fund
Claude Moore Charitable Foundation
Park Foundation, Inc.
The Phase Foundation
Nathaniel S. and Ravida K. Preston
Fund of The Community Foundation
for the National Capital Region
PNC Foundation
Prince Charitable Trusts
RealNetworks Foundation
The Rice Family Foundation
Nora Roberts Foundation
The Scheidel Foundation
Seeley Foundation
Louis H. Shaman Charitable Foundation
Joseph T. & Helen M. Simpson
Smith & Kogod Family
Eugene M. Sullivan, M.D. Foundation
Solon E. Summerfield Foundation, Inc.
Wallace Genetic Foundation
Washington Forrest Foundation
The Yuen Foundation
One anonymous foundation
The Better
Angels Society
of individual donors and family
foundations whose generosity allows
WETA production partner Ken Burns
to continue to produce high-quality
documentary films enjoyed by millions
of public television viewers nationwide.
The society’s support also expands
educational outreach activities,
including dynamic Web components
that introduce current and future
generations of Americans to their
collective history. The following donors
contributed to The Better Angels
Society through WETA during fiscal
year 2015.
Ken and Carol Adelman
Barnard/Fain Foundation
Amy and Gilchrist Berg
Bernstein Family Foundation, Washington, DC
The Lavender Butterfly Fund
Jonathan and Jeannie Lavine,
Crimson Lion Foundation
Sherry and Alan Leventhal Family Foundation
Mauree Jane and Mark Perry
Sharon Percy Rockefeller and
Senator John D. Rockefeller IV
Segal Family Foundation
Fred and Donna Seigel
Stephen M. Silberstein
Robert K. Steel Family Foundation
Honors and Awards
Ken Burns
Theodore Roosevelt Association:
Medal of Honor
Arlington National Cemetery
National Academy of Television
Arts & Sciences, National Capital/
Chesapeake Bay Chapter: Emmy
Award; Chesapeake Heritage —
Gwen Ifill
The College of William and Mary:
Hunter B. Andrews Fellow
The Paley Center for Media:
Tribute to African-American
Achievements in Television;
Urbino Press Award
Utica College: Honorary
Doctor of Humane Letters
Judy Woodruff
Marist College:
Lowell Thomas Award
National Academy of Television
Arts & Sciences, National Capital/
Chesapeake Bay Chapter: Emmy
Award; Editing
The Central Park Five
The Association for Women in
Communications: Clarion Award;
Television Documentary Program,
Ken Burns Presents Cancer:
The Emperor of All Maladies
A Film by Barak Goodman
Cancer Support Community, The
Founders Award for Empowerment
Latino Americans
Imagen Award: Best National
Informational Program
Martha Stewart’s Cooking School
James Beard Foundation Award:
Broadcast Media Award; Television
Program, in Studio or Fixed Location
The Roosevelts: An Intimate History
American Cinema Editors: ACE Eddie
Award; Best-Edited Documentary
Chicago International Film Festival:
Gold Hugo Award; Special Achievement
in Direction
Organization of American Historians:
Erik Barnouw Prize
Telly Award: Film/Video—TV Programs,
Segments, or Promotional Pieces;
Documentary, Bronze
Washington in the ’80s
National Academy of Television
Arts & Sciences, National Capital/
Chesapeake Bay Chapter: Emmy Award;
Documentary — Historical
Washington Week with Gwen Ifill
The Association for Women in
Communications: Clarion Award;
Television Public Affairs Program,
Telly Award: Film/Video — TV Programs,
Segments, or Promotional Pieces; News
or News Feature, Bronze
PBS NewsHour
Webby Award: Social; News &
Information, #NewsHourChats
— Honoree
This awards list represents honors received in fiscal year 2015.
From left: Washington in the ’80s , Latino Americans , Arlington National Cemetery, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.
WETA Board of Trustees
Timothy C. Coughlin
Ann Dibble Jordan
Cynthia Baker
Marguerite Bateman
J. Roderick Heller III
Trustee Emeritus
Sharon Percy Rockefeller
ex officio
Karna Small Bodman
Roger Krone
Bruce Sanford
Joseph Bruns
Charito Kruvant
Pauline Schneider
Louise Henry Bryson
Susan Lee
John Schwieters
Peter Buscemi
Jerome Libin
John Shenefield
René Carter
Elizabeth Lodal
Sudhakar Shenoy
Chris Chadwick
David O. Maxwell
Trustee Emeritus
Cherrie Doggett
Gregory Gallopoulos
Ronald Gordon
John Hauge
John W. Hechinger Jr.
Trustee Emeritus
Robert Sloan
Mara Mayor
Loren Allan Smith
ex officio
Sally Merten
Catherine Stevens
Gary Nakamoto
Riley Temple
Robert Quinn
John Ulfelder
Edward Hart Rice
Christopher Wolf
Margaret Milner Richardson
Sharon Percy Rockefeller
President and
Chief Executive Officer
Dalton Delan
Executive Vice President and
Chief Programming Officer
Lisa Lindstrom Delaney
Senior Vice President and
General Counsel
Rick Schneider
Executive Vice President and
Chief Operating Officer
James Bond
Executive Vice President and
Chief Financial Officer,
Treasurer to the Board
Kari Waldack
Assistant Secretary to the Board
From left: The Gospel Tradition: In Performance at the White House, The Mrs. Bradley Mysteries , American Masters: American Ballet Theatre: A History.
26.4 Over the Air Via Antenna
Comcast 26
Cox 26, 802
Fios 26, 471
RCN 26
26.2 Over the Air Via Antenna
Comcast 265
Cox 800
Fios 474
RCN 39
WETA 90.9 FM Washington
WGMS 89.1 FM Hagerstown
WETA 88.9 FM Frederick
26.1 Over the Air Via Antenna
Comcast 800 (D.C. area)
Comcast 219 (Balt. area)
Cox 1026, 1003
DirecTV 26, 26-1
Dish 8076
Fios 526
RCN 613
26.3 Over the Air Via Antenna
Comcast 266
Cox 801
Fios 472
RCN 38
© 2015 WETA All rights reserved. Publisher: Mary Stewart, Editor: Kristine Barr. Design & Layout/Production: August Lang & Husak. WETA has made every effort to ensure that this report presents
accurate information for fiscal year 2015. Complete trademark information and photography credits are available at .
Inside Front Cover Top row, from left: The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, Beethoven on Classical WETA 90.9 FM, Sesame Street, Masterpiece: Downton Abbey, National Memorial Day Concert.
Middle row, from left: The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries, violinist Chee-Yun on Classical WETA, BrainLine Military. Bottom row, from left: Judy Woodruff,
PBS NewsHour; Reading Rockets; Gwen Ifill, PBS NewsHour; Siddhartha Mukherjee and Ken Burns, Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies; The Italian Americans.
3939 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA 22206 • 703-998-2600 •

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