Dr. Scott Little

Public broadcasting has been an important part of the life of this community, an important part of my life, and an important part of my children’s lives.

A Message From Dr. Scott Little

Dr. Little is a longtime member of WCTE and serves on the Executive Committee of the Upper Cumberland Broadcast Council, the governing body for WCTE.

I grew up in Smithville and did my undergraduate work at Tennessee Tech. After graduating from veterinary school, I moved back to Smithville in 1987 and opened the DeKalb Animal Clinic. I have four beautiful daughters who are all big fans of PBS.

WCTE and Smithville have had a great relationship for many years through the station’s yearly live production of the Smithville Fiddler’s Jamboree. This production, and the national syndication of the highlights, has been a large factor in the success of the Jamboree and the tourist dollars it brings to the region each year.

Why do I choose to support and work with the dedicated staff at WCTE?

They care. They care about the education of our children and about our region’s economic development. They care about our heritage and about the natural beauty and resources of our region. They care about the arts, about the people and the issues that affect our quality of life. And everyday they strive, with long hours and low pay, to make the Upper Cumberland a better place to live.

In short, nobody else does what WCTE does for our community. Having our own public television station that produces so many local programs is a tremendous asset to this region.

For instance, look at the quality educational programs for our children on WCTE. They are not found on any other cable station. Not Nickelodeon, not Disney. WCTE staff educators can be found each and every day in schools all over the Upper Cumberland region.

Nobody covers regional high school and college sports, nor local government meetings and hearings, nor regional music and the arts – from bluegrass music to Backstage at the Symphony (BSO) – like WCTE. Nobody covers children’s healthcare issues facing the children of our state, nor state legislative issues like the state’s public television stations do. And no one covers the business and economic issues of this region like WCTE.

I’ve talked a lot about the quality and quantity of WCTE’s local programming, but that is only part of the equation. When you think about what quality programming is… you think PBS.

Ken Burns’ documentaries about the Civil War, national parks, and baseball are the gold standard for quality programming.

We all grew up on Sesame Street and The Electric Company. Bill Moyers’ specials on religion are used in Sunday school classes all over the country. The News Hour, The Nightly Business Report, NOVA, Frontline, Charlie Rose, Antiques Roadshow, British comedies, Masterpiece Theater and many others all serve to inform us, entertain us, make us laugh and sometimes make us cry.

PBS truly serves as the conscience of the nation.

When I was first asked to serve on the Upper Cumberland Broadcast Council a few years ago, I conducted an informal survey of 100 clients who walked into my clinic.

A little over 70% watched at least one PBS program weekly. Of those who watched, 4% were members of a PBS station.

You know why only 4% were members? It wasn’t for lack of money, or because they didn’t think it was important. There wasn’t really any reason. They had just failed to pick up the phone and call. They had just failed to go online and become a member. That’s all.

It is not just personal contributions that keep WCTE on the air. Without federal and state funding, WCTE will cease to exist. At this time, tough decisions are being made on the state and national level. It is important for each and every one of us to contact our state and federal legislators, today, and let them know how much you value public broadcasting. If not, public broadcasting as we know it will cease to exist.

Public broadcasting has been an important part of the life of this community, an important part of my life, and an important part of my children’s lives. It is my hope that their children and their children’s children will continue to be informed and inspired by WCTE for many years to come.

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WCTE depends upon the support of our membership to produce and broadcast quality programming like this. Please help us continue this 30+ year tradition of community involvement by contributing to WCTE today.

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