Rosemary & Don Weinrauch
Don Weinrauch and his wife Rosemary, “Rosie,” have been educators in Putnam County; he with TTU and she with Capshaw Elementary. They have been supporting members of the station for many years. The couple moved to Cookeville in the summer of 1977, when Don took a position as a Professor of Marketing at Tennessee Technological University. WCTE-TV was only months away from its first sign-on date, but Weinrauch remembers fondly the early influence the station had upon his young family.
“Probably the earliest memories of WCTE were ‘Sesame Street’ and ‘The Electric Company.’ Our children loved WCTE,” Don said. “The station really has grown to be more eclectic, with international and national local programs.”
Included among Don’s lineup of local favorites is a program that highlights local businesses in the Upper Cumberlands that he has hosted since its inception. Over the years on “Business Profiles,” he has talked with over 300 guests, mostly business owners and some celebrities.”
“In 1989, I thought there was really no program that highlighted the good news of small businesses,” Weinrauch said. “I wrote a half-page proposal to Dick Castle. It was real simple, and I didn’t hear anything from him. And then one day I ran into him and he said to me, ‘I think we’ll do three or four shows on small businesses,’ and I said, ‘OK.’”
Among the production crew for the inaugural shoot of “Upper Cumberland Business Profiles: Your Keys to Business Success,” was a young Steve Boots.
“I remember that Don came to the station with the plan for the show, and that he’d be able to help us with guests and even write questions if we needed him to. He had no intention of being on the air, but Dick told him we’d do the show, and that he would be the host. That was a very good decision because I think its been one of our longest running shows,” Boots said. “I remember that when I would run camera, the comment that I always heard the guests say was, ‘Wow! That really went fast.’ Don’s very insightful and is very good at getting the story out of a person.”
“Congrats to Don. He’s done a tremendous job with Business Profiles. He’s got a body of work that anyone who is interested in the business community in Cookeville could really learn from,” said Boots. Weinrauch added, “Over the years we did [interview] all types of individuals -- profit, non-profit, doctors, lawyers, politicians. We talked to Senator Tommy Burks, judges and Dave Ramsey. So by ’95 we would do three shows at a time.”
“We did a lot of different things. We went out one time and interviewed professional hockey players; we interviewed the Tennessee Titans when they first came here. The station allowed me to try different things, and then people like Donna Castle, Dick Castle, Steve Boots and Becky Magura all experimented. We went through probably about four or five editors, but Donna Castle was the main producer, and without her, I don’t know what we would have done.“
“WCTE has never said to me, ‘You have to have someone on because they gave money,’ and that’s commendable. They wanted to provide an educational service to the community and highlight the good news about the business community. Over the years I’ve seen many staff members and board members make a contribution and I think it says something about the station. So I hope that the community will help.”
Weinrauch urges people to get involved with WCTE. “Either as a volunteer or through donations, your support of WCTE is a great way to make an impact in your community. A good way to see the tangible effect of your gift is through our outreach programs like Stations of Imagination coming up on September 11th and 12th, or through programs like, “Business Profiles,” that will resume on September 7th.
“I’m amazed at how much you do in local programming,” Don said. “ You promote the Upper Cumberland Region. You help in terms of economic development; you help to promote the university, Tennessee Tech, the community colleges and the local school districts of each county. You really have from A-Z in programs. You help out with sporting events, the ‘Academic Bowl’ -- so you really promote so many different types of programs and you bootstrap. You know how to maximize limited resources.”
“I know how often on, ‘Business Profiles,’ guests will comment on the quality of life and what a wonderful area this is. Well, you put the flesh, the visuals, to that statement.
“We can all be proud to have WCTE in the Upper Cumberland. This innovative and progressive local station is one of the best returns on investment for the region. WCTE is a tremendous asset in helping the region grow and prosper. The station truly enhances our quality of life with their international, national and noteworthy local programming. WCTE has developed so many wonderful partnerships with a variety of organizations and community events. We are truly fortunate to have this great resource.
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