Lillian and Ken Hartgrove
Ken, Lillian and their daughter Lindsey Hartgrove (now Lindsey Sasser) moved from South Florida to Cookeville six years ago. Ken is retired and Lillian is the Economic Development Vice President for the Cookeville Chamber of Commerce. In that role, she works as an advocate for existing industry and brings new jobs to the community. She also serves as Secretary on the Upper Cumberland Broadcast Council, the governing body for WCTE.
Ken and Lillian had contributed to PBS in South Florida for years and were pleasantly surprised that a community the size of Cookeville also had a very active PBS station.
“Cookeville is an hour away from any major city,” said Ken. “The community is not a suburb of anyone and so to have a PBS station here makes sense. We really appreciated the local programming and as we met people associated with the station, we became more impressed.”
Todd Jarrell’s Tree Safari with local wood artist Brad Sells really peaked Lillian’s interest and she appreciates what WCTE adds to the community. “Business Profiles is an excellent program, as is Focus On. There is coverage of a lot of the local sports, the Christmas Parade, the Fall Fun Fest…there is just so much of interest to this area that would be missed if we did not have a local TV station.”
Ken is a news junkie and appreciates the national news programs shown on WCTE, especially the ones that cover stories in depth like Frontline and Washington Week. He also enjoys the science programs like Nova and Nature.
“The things I looks for only PBS can provide because it does not have a commercial sponsor breathing down its’ neck to help sell a product. It gives us the whole spectrum, from Sesame Street and the ABCs to Charlie Rose and the events of the day.”
“What I learned from being on the Board at WCTE is that the station does so much with so few resources and a very small staff,” said Lillian. “It wouldn’t be possible to have what we have today without the support of viewers like you. The station sometimes receives money through grants but they usually have to be matched. It is difficult to raise the money necessary to run a television station and if we stopped contributing, WCTE would not exist.”
Ken has had the opportunity to come to the studio several times and is impressed to see how much production comes out a small facility. “And it’s not just the studio. They’ll often take their truck and cover events remotely – you never know where they are going to appear. You just have to keep watching all the time because they’ll surprise you!”
Having worked the Great TV Auction for a couple of years, Ken remarked about how there is a real community feeling to the event.
“It has been a revelation! Everyone joins together to work toward a common goal – to help perpetuate the operation of WCTE in the Upper Cumberland. This is truly the people’s television station – there is no big business dictating what you are going to see. WCTE is a station that listens to your input and tries to provide for the needs of the community.”
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