WCTE TV in Cookeville is seeking funding from the DeKalb County Commission and the City of Smithville to promote tourism to this area and to continue broadcasting the Smithville Fiddlers Jamboree.
During an all-committees meeting of the county commission Thursday night, Mark Dudney and Becky Magura addressed the group with two specific funding requests, each in the amount of $5,000. Both requests were also presented in writing
Dudney is the Government Relations Officer for the television station and Magura is the President and CEO of WCTE.
According to Dudney and Magura, WCTE-TV needs this support to help defray the costs of broadcasting the Fiddlers Jamboree, which they say runs around $40,000 each year.
Dudney's letter states that " WCTE respectfully requests $5,000 from DeKalb County for the fiscal year 2011-2012. This funding will be used specifically to defray WCTE's production costs for the 2011 Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree."
"WCTE has been a proud partner of the Jamboree for nearly thirty years. The station has broadcast the event that long and has produced a two-hour highlight show for national distribution for nearly twenty years."
"It costs WCTE roughly $40,000 every year to shoot, broadcast and produce the Jamboree. A private production company would likely charge $100,000 for the same service. Again, our $5,000 request for funding would go specifically to assist us in post-production of the Jamboree for the nationally televised two-hour highlight show."
Magura said while WCTE is committed to broadcasting the Fiddlers Jamboree this year, they would like to know a local commitment of funding for the broadcast can be counted on next year.
Meanwhile, in the second request, Dudney and Magura propose producing seasonal 30 second tourism ads related to DeKalb County to be aired throughout the year.
Dudney's letter states that "WCTE respectfully requests $5,000 from DeKalb County for fiscal year 2011-2012. In consideration for this sum:
"WCTE will produce and broadcast four 30-second tourism spots related to DeKalb County. These seasonal spots can include highlighting DeKalb County's natural beauty, music, culture, history, art, industry, etc. These spots will run twice a week on WCTE's main channel for a year, approximately one hundred spots annually."
"WCTE just finished its first year doing these spots (for other cities and counties) and we have enjoyed significant positive feedback about our initial round of tourism promotions. After our digital transition and our presence in the Nashville market via Dish and Direct TV, WCTE has a possible viewing audience of 1.4 million households. As the only television station in a 75 mile radius, WCTE is uniquely positioned to offer its strategic partners quality promotions at reasonable rates."
Dudney and Magura also brought along a DVD of tourism spots which have been produced for other cities and counties in the Upper Cumberland, and showed it to the commissioners.
County Mayor Mike Foster and members of the commission have not yet voted on whether to grant the requests. Some members seem to support making a contribution, but perhaps not meeting the entire amount. Others said they would favor joint funding, in some amount, with the City of Smithville, if the city mayor and aldermen would agree.
Dudney and Magura said while they have made contact with city hall, they have not formally made their requests to the Mayor and Aldermen as yet, but plan to do so.