Bob and Gail Luna
Twenty-seven years ago a young radio news director made his way down to the WCTE studio to help with the first annual membership drive. Today, Bob Luna continues to help WCTE during membership drives, the Great TV Auction, and other events and now serves as the Chairman of the Upper Cumberland Broadcast Council, the governing body of WCTE.
Bob tells us he became active at WCTE because he thinks the public television station is good for the community. “I loved being a part of the WCTE events,” he said. “In the past 26 years, I have only missed one auction and it was when I won a free trip to the Bahamas to participate in a Toastmasters speech contest. Back then, the Auction only went for one weekend and I couldn’t pass up the free trip with Gail.
Gail became a part of the WCTE volunteer corps around 1983 when she helped with the Auction. “Back then”, Gail said, “I was busy raising our two daughters, Susan and Jennifer, and we did take advantage of the children’s programming on WCTE. We all enjoyed Sesame Street and Mister Rogers Neighborhood.
Gail is now the Executive Director of the Bryan Symphony Orchestra and appears on WCTE before each concert with Conductor Dan Allcott to talk about the upcoming Symphony concert and the activities associated with the event. “There is no question,” she said, that being on Prelude and Coffee: Conversations with the Conductor is a great asset to the Symphony. After the programs air, we get lots of inquiries about concerts and the symphony itself.
Bob is now a financial advisor and is a co-owner of Luna and Birdwell Investment Group, but he takes time out from his busy schedule to chair the Broadcast Council. Bob said, “I am proud to be associated with WCTE. The staff, over the years, has done a great deal with very little. It is remarkable. Now with the grants for the digital conversion, it looks like things are improving and I am glad to be a part of it.
Bob became Chairman of the Board this past year, but has served in various capacities on the Council for a number of years. “You know,” he said, “another thing that makes me proud to be associated with the station is the fact that there have been a number of programs distributed nationally.
Recently,“ he continued, “the program “Crank: Darkness on the Edge of Town” was picked up for national distribution and aired in a number of big cities like Boston and Chicago. It is pretty amazing to me that one of the smallest stations in the country continues to be a part of the national PBS scene.
“I have always believed in the value of public television,“ Bob said. There was a time when it was rumored that WCTE would become a repeater station, but the staff persevered and kept the station operating from Cookeville and the Upper Cumberland. I always believed that WCTE is good for the community, and I hope more community members will join us in not only supporting the station with volunteerism, but also with generous contributions.
Bob and Gail are members of the WCTE Directors Circle in addition to helping with various fundraising events.
One of Bob’s favorite local programs is Business Profiles with Don Weinrauch. “I have appeared on this program,“ Bob said, “and you would be surprised at the number of people that tell me they have seen me on the show. Being on Profiles is great publicity for my business and it lets me reach my target audience.
Bob and Gail’s two little girls are now grown. Susan is a Tech graduate and Jennifer is a Tech student. Bob and Gail continue to enjoy working, and continue to be active supporters of WCTE. It’s been a long time since that young radio news director got on the air to try to raise membership dollars for WCTE, but there he was again this March making pitches for those who were watching to become members. We hope he can continue doing it for another twenty-seven years!
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