Last year, when the city moved to cut funding for WYOU, interim director Guy Swansbro was pessimistic. He predicted that Madison's community access television station, on the air since 1975, could go belly-up.
Now, the station has renewed hope but also a fresh sense of urgency. The mayor restored $140,000 in city funding for 2009, but called for its elimination by 2011. In the meantime, WYOU is looking to fund operations through other revenue streams.
Barbara Bolan, the station's new executive director, is pitching the station's rental studio space and other services to local nonprofits and companies. WYOU is also seeking opportunities to partner with the UW-Madison or MATC, among others, to stay afloat.
"Nothing is off the table," says Bolan as the station prepares for its early March fund drive. "We have a lot to offer. We're not asking for something and offering nothing."
In the meantime, in the switchover to digital, WYOU's digital channel 991 and analog 95 have disappeared from the lineup for some Charter Communications customers. Bolan urges customers to address this issue with Charter. Starting March 1, the station will broadcast online at wyou.org.