MPT rakes in $710,697 from its spring pledge drive

March 21, 1995|By Steve McKerrow

Maryland Public Television's annual spring fund-raising drive raised $710,697 in pledges and challenge grants, the public broadcasting center in Owings Mills announced yesterday.

MPT didn't set a goal for the 17-day drive, which ended Sunday. The total reflected pledges from more than 9,000 people. The spring push is the longest of three annual pledge periods, and last year's 17-day drive in March raised $676,293.

"It was rewarding to hear from so many of our viewers . . . and to know that they are concerned about funding cutbacks and were willing to give us their financial support," said Joan Frangos, senior vice president of marketing and development at MPT.

Congress has been debating cutbacks in federal funds to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. MPT President Raymond K. K. Ho warned last week that "there is no evidence of any reliable and substantial other source of funds that has not already been explored and tapped."

However, an MPT spokeswoman said yesterday that the successful fund drive raises money toward continued day-to-day operations, while federal funds are applied toward Public Broadcasting Service programming and also provide "seed money" for local production of programs for PBS distribution.

Ms. Frangos said 73 percent of pledges came from new members.

Top program honors went to "The American Experience: FDR," which ran twice during the drive and brought in $106,000 in pledges. Other strong shows: "Yanni In Concert: Live at the Acropolis" ($39,183, two airings) and "The Hermitage: A Russian Odyssey" ($24,000).

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