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Departure of UNC-TV director leaves 'tough shoes to fill'

Posted October 7, 2013

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— At the UNC-TV studios in Research Triangle Park, editors are putting together a Tift Merritt concert recorded earlier this year in Raleigh.

It's an example of the kind of local programming Tom Howe has championed as general manager and director of North Carolina's public television system. Howe, the longest-serving GM, plans to step down Feb. 1.

“He came there in 1992, and immediately he started to increase the amount of local programming,” said Robb Teer, chairman of the UNC-TV Board of Trustees.

Tom Howe Howe leaves legacy of excellence at UNC-TV

He said Howe also guided the system's conversion to digital television. UNC-TV now airs four separate channels of 24-hour programming.

“Our viewers are able to get more services and more programming from UNC-TV than ever before,” said Shannon Vickery with the operation.

Howe also completed UNC-TV's mission of building a 12-station network to cover the state with free, over-the-air public television service. He did all of it during tough times, Teer said. Budget cuts, especially at the state level, have hit UNC-TV hard, and viewer support now is more important than ever.

“Our viewers have stepped up and made up a lot of the money the state has cut from our budget,” he said.

Howe didn't want to be interviewed for this story. He's not the type to talk about his accomplishments.
But Teer said Howe's legacy gives UNC-TV a solid foundation for the future.

“His shoes are going be tough to fill,” he said. “Whoever comes in, though, is coming into a job where all the heavy lifting has been done.”

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  • stymieindurham Oct 7, 2013

    “Our viewers have stepped up and made up a lot of the money the state has cut from our budget,” he said.
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    This is how it should be. Get my tax dollars and the state out of television broadcasting.

  • Hippy_mom Oct 7, 2013

    Those dang liberal muppets teaching kids to count and read! The nerve! Don't they know they should be watching Honey-Boo-Boo, violent crime shows and "reality" shows? Too bad you've closed your mind to this liberal drivel, DeathRow. Public TV was the first to produce shows on topics such as cooking and nature. Entire cable networks are based on what PBS began back in the days when the only alternative was CBS, NBC and ABC. Bet you don't block those, do you?

  • btneast Oct 7, 2013

    Its just garbage in the Program Guide. We NEVER watch that station. Usually just liberal junk being broadcast on both the TV and radio stations

    Man, get a grip. I am about as conservative as they come, and I like some of the programming. This country is made up of all types, so obviously some of the programming may not be for you. That's why you have the ability to change channels. Government funding for Public TV has been cut over the years, and they have picked up the slack from donors......give them credit for working hard to support themselves.

  • Nope Oct 7, 2013

    "I still don't understand how Public TV and Public Radio continues to operate. They can't possibly be getting that much money to operate. Our government should stop ALL monies going to these TV and radio stations. I have DirecTV. I have blocked out UNC-TV on my satellite. Its just garbage in the Program Guide. We NEVER watch that station. Usually just liberal junk being broadcast on both the TV and radio stations.
    DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT"

    Wow, I was just watching some of the movie "Idiocracy" on comedy central and then pulled this up and read your post.

    A chill ran down my spine.

  • btneast Oct 7, 2013

    I still don't understand how Public TV and Public Radio continues to operate.

    They are master fund raisers. They are doing more with less and less government money, which should make you happy. A lot of the programming is funded with grants from corporations and foundations, they just don't run any commercials.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Oct 7, 2013

    I still don't understand how Public TV and Public Radio continues to operate. They can't possibly be getting that much money to operate. Our government should stop ALL monies going to these TV and radio stations. I have DirecTV. I have blocked out UNC-TV on my satellite. Its just garbage in the Program Guide. We NEVER watch that station. Usually just liberal junk being broadcast on both the TV and radio stations.

  • BernsteinIII Oct 7, 2013

    "Departure of UNC-TV director leaves 'tough shoes to fill'"

    The saying is "Big Shoes to Fill", and no where in the article does Teer say "Tough Shoes", he says "His shoes are going to be tough to fill.".

    "Tough Shoes", LOL. Steel toes?