APTS Recognizes Detroit Public Television for Great Lakes Now, a Groundbreaking Multi-Platform Citizenship Initiative

WASHINGTON— February 27, 2012 — The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) today presented Detroit Public Television with a 2012 EDGE Award for Great Lakes Now, which provided unprecedented access to the largest gathering of scientists, political voices, educators, environmentalists and interested groups ever assembled to discuss the status and the future of the Great Lakes. The EDGE Awards are presented annually to public television stations that use digital technology, groundbreaking partnerships and educational technologies to deliver innovative services to their communities.

For the first time in history, the four leading government and private organizations overseeing management of the Great Lakes met in Detroit to discuss future policy, and Detroit Public Television provided unprecedented public access to those discussions, through local, national and international partnerships for TV, radio and web content. All content was offered to all partners live and on demand for free. The coverage was made possible by the Erb Family Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency and the International Joint Commission.

Great Lakes Now included a series of major conferences in an October 2011 Great Lakes Week in Detroit, in partnership with the International Joint Commission, Great Lakes Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. All conferences were broadcast by Detroit Public Television.

“I am delighted to present a 2012 EDGE Award to Detroit Public Television for Great Lakes Now, a first of its kind initiative, which expanded both the depth and the context of information about issues affecting the Great Lakes to a much larger degree than any traditional media have ever provided,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS. “Rich Homberg’s leadership made Detroit Public Television a critical convener of community leaders, and Detroit Public Television has given its citizens an opportunity to connect with these community leaders to help protect the Great Lakes. This innovative project shows how local public television stations have moved beyond traditional broadcast to engage their communities in new and groundbreaking ways.”

“When we saw research showing 97 percent of people in the Great Lakes Basin believe the Great Lakes are important to their lives, but only four percent say they have a personal responsibility to protect the Great Lakes, we saw a disconnect we could help bridge through the power of media,” said Rich Homberg, president and general manager of Detroit Public Television. “Great Lakes Now helped more people connect the issues with their roles in solving them, which is a part of our strategy for the future. Our team appreciates this recognition from our colleagues from across the country.”

In total, 22 partners broadcast Great Lakes Now in 23 markets as well as in Canada. In addition to Detroit Public Television’s 10 broadcasts, there were at least 133 broadcasts of Great Lakes Now programming on public television stations beyond Detroit – covering more than 10 percent of the United States. Broadcast partners included, but are not limited to, stations in Chicago, Cleveland, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Indianapolis, Toledo, OH, Champaign, IL, Lansing, North Dakota and eastern South Dakota. When including stations that embedded the player on their websites, the national footprint grew to one third of the top 30 market PBS stations, including stations in New York City, Miami, St Louis, Houston and Phoenix – bringing the total market coverage to more than 24 percent of nation.

The EDGE Award was presented to Detroit Public Television during The APTS Public Media Summit on Monday, February 27.

About APTS
The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization established in 1979. The mission of APTS is to conduct – in concert with member stations – advocacy, planning, research and communications activities in order to achieve strong and financially sound noncommercial television and advanced digital services for the American people. APTS provides consistent leadership and information that helps our members better accomplish their own missions and goals. Through its affiliate APTS Action, APTS promotes the legislative and regulatory interests of noncommercial television stations at the national level through direct advocacy, and grasstops and grassroots campaigns designed to garner congressional support. For more information, visit www.apts.org.