Happy 25th birthday, Panhandle PBS

I went to a birthday party this evening with my wife.

It didn’t honor a person. It honored instead a Texas Panhandle institution. The honoree tonight was Panhandle PBS, known formerly as KACV-TV. Panhandle PBS has turned 25 years young.

Here’s hoping for many more such celebrations.

Time for some full disclosure: I write a blog for PanhandlePBS.org, which is the website created for the public TV station. It’s called “A Public View with John Kanelis,” and I’ve been writing it since shortly after my 36-year career in daily print journalism came to a screeching halt in August 2012.

I am happy to affiliated with Panhandle PBS. I am even happier that public TV found its way to the Texas Panhandle in 1988. It took a good while since public TV arrived in the United States way back in 1953, when the University of Houston’s KUHT-TV went on the air. I used to watch KUHT programming when my family and I moved to Beaumont in the spring of 1984.

Public television is a valuable asset to any community. It brings intelligence, sane discussion, distinguished comedy (often of the British variety), heartwarming stories, in-depth reporting and first-rate educational programming.

Panhandle PBS broadcasts out of the Gilvin Broadcast Center at Amarillo College. It is run by a delightful and competent staff of seasoned and still-to-be-seasoned studio hands and technicians. The woman in charge is general manager Linda Pitner, who just stepped off the Amarillo school district board and is one of the smartest people I know … and I’m not just saying that because she’s my boss.

Public television occasionally gets whipped and lashed by some who think it’s too darn liberal. I beg to differ with that description. I prefer to call the Public Broadcasting Service reasonable and analytical. It might be too liberal in some folks’ eyes only because they see the world through their own bias prism.

I find public TV to be informative and worth every penny that it receives from private donors and, yes, from taxpayers such as me.

They threw a heck of bash tonight in north Amarillo. I hope to be around for the next big bash.

Happy birthday, Panhandle PBS.

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