Can We All Get Along? Yes We Can!

Ask anyone who works in television and they will tell you they have been asked the question ad nauseum.

Do you really get along with the people at the other TV stations in town?

We all answer in the affirmative because its true. While we may broadcast on different stations and are essentially competitors trying to beat the other guys, we do get along because we all do the same thing. We are all broadcasters and journalists and only turn into adversaries when we are fighting for the same story.

Still, some folks need proof that we all get along. For those not convinced, take a look at this picture snapped Monday night at the studios o0f WQED:

 wqed

Working together: From L-R: Andrew Stockey & Wendy Bell (WTAE ), Tonia Caruso (WQED) , Ken Rice (KDKA ), Grant Oliphant ( President & CEO, Pittsburgh Foundation), Saleem Ghubril ( President, Pittsburgh Promise ),( WQED ) , Michael Bartley ( WQED ), Stacy Smith ( KDKA ), Darieth Chisolm ( WPXI ) and David Johnson ( WPXI ). Photo courtesy of Joshua Franzos.

You can see some of your favorite broadcasters from WPXI, KDKA and WTAE. We all came together – the on-air talent and the station – for one night for something we all consider important: the future of  Pittsburgh.

As broadcasters, our greatest responsibility is the public good and that’s what tonight and tomorrow night are all about. Monday we taped segments in a program that will air tomorrow night at 7:30pm on all three network stations and public television broadcaster WQED. It’s about the Pittsburgh Promise.

You have probably heard about the program, designed to keep Pittsburgh vibrant and growing by investing in the greatest resource we have in our city: our children. Through generous donations from foundations and individuals, and that mind-boggling $100M from UPMC, the goal is to guarantee those students who get the grades in the city school system will be able to go to college. The Promise that while these students will have many challenges on the road to a college education, money will not be one of them.

The program Tuesday night will tell you the story of the Promise, with each station presenting a story about the program. From its roots and its goals to how it has fared in other cities to whether city students are embracing the concept. Along the way, you will meet the powerful and the ordinary people giving this program life.

I speak very highly of it because I believe in it and have even donated to it. It’s motto is something I believe in: “Dream Big. Work Hard”. Most important, its a program that could make the difference in a city which teeters on the brink between success and failure.

I won’t give away the whole program, just take 30 minutes and watch on whichever station you choose. I think it will be well worth you time and you will get to see a spirit of cooperation rare in our business.

I promise we won’t sing “We Are The World”.

Editor’s note:  I was honored and flattered to be part of this well respected group. These are the people who bring you the news every night from the four stations. To be in this group is pretty overwhelming. I’m guessing I’m the only one in this group who is going home tonight to play “MLB ’09 on his Playstation 3.

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