CHRONOLOGY OF THE MCCUISTION TELEVISION PROGRAM
Name: Dennis McCuistion, Board Chairman, Niki Nicastro McCuistion, Executive Producer/ Producer – Co-Founder
Organization: Foundation for Responsible Television
Address: 11700 Preston Road, #660-193
Zip Code: 75230
Phone: (214) 394-6794
E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Website Address: http://www.mccuistiontv.com
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ORGANIZATION & DESCRIPTION OF SERVICES
Mission Statement: Our purpose is to impact the quality of television. To this end, we produce and distribute on Public Television the McCuistion Program, an intellectually stimulating, objective exchange of ideas that challenges prevailing attitudes about things that matter.
History & Accomplishments: The McCuistion Program has been serving North Texas since 1990. It is the longest running independently produced program on KERA, Channel 13 PBS, funded and distributed by the Foundation for Responsible Television, a 501(c) (3) nonprofit entity, founded in 1994.
Current FRT funding comes from both private and public sources, from viewers, corporations and foundations. We neither ask for nor receive government or PBS funding .
The McCuistion Program is an issues-oriented television program that illuminates business, social, economic and public policy concerns and challenges. Our viewers and live audience members are individuals from all socio-economic walks of life who get involved in making a difference. According to Nielsen data, the viewers of Public Television are 38% high school graduates; 23% some college; 28% college graduates or have advanced studies; 44.4% live in metropolitan areas, 28.2% in suburbs, 13% in small cities/towns, and 14.4% in rural areas; 28.7% have incomes between $20,000 and $39,999; 21% have incomes between $40,000 and $59,999; 25.9% over $60,000. The ethnic breakdown is 4.4% Hispanic, 8.8% black, and 86.8 white or Asian. (For a more in-depth look at the Viewership Profile, please see the Addendum.) Thus, the program reaches persons from diverse backgrounds, individuals who are, or can be, involved in the most important social, economic, business and political issues of the day.
The McCUISTION program is unique. Each program focuses on a topic of importance, and in a talk show format develops the various concepts or issues of that particular topic. Why is the program unique? First, it is objective, fairly and evenly presenting vital information. The panelists are experts on the topic, as is the audience. Intelligent interaction with the audience is encouraged. The program not only educates, but invites viewers to make their opinions known and to actively get involved in making a difference; whether by active participation in civic and charitable activities or letting their city, state and national elected officials know how they (the viewers) feel.
Its purpose is to develop a stronger community of involved citizens who can influence issues where they live and work in their community. These issues include the environment, how their children are educated, public policy, and health care locally and on a national basis. While the viewership spans the ethnic, income, age, race and gender spectrum, it includes primarily individuals who are involved in the most important social, economic, business and political issues of the day. Thus, we provide this information to community leaders of all types, people who truly want and can make a difference.
Utilizing a live studio audience of subject matter experts and interested participants, the 30-minute program features interviews with local, national and international experts, community and business leaders, on topics as far ranging as arts and culture, education, government, healthcare, the environment and human services. In recognition of McCuistion’s quality and service to the community, the program has been honored with numerous awards for excellence in journalism and production.
Since 1998, the McCuistion Program has garnered over 30 Telly Awards or Finalist nominations, in addition to several similar awards from the Press Club of Dallas and Clarion, Women in Communication. Telly Awards honor the very best local, regional, and cable television commercials and programs. Telly Awards usually receive over 18,000 entries from all 50 states and five continents.
What Difference Do We Make: We are finishing our 28th year of providing a quality half-hour weekly television program that touches on business, social, economic and political issues of the day. We know that we are providing an important service, since we have been continually renewed by KERA-PBS, Channel 13, on an annual basis for the last 27 years. We often receive letters and emails from viewers who comment on the program aired, purchase our videos for additional study and feedback on the issues raised in the programs, and utilize our web site and blog.
Each week we reach thousands of viewers locally and from across the country, and every time just one viewer watches a discussion that takes place, that person becomes a more informed individual. It is not our goal to influence any pending legislation, but rather to influence the quality of choices that individuals make that directly affect their quality of life in every area important to them and their community.
In addition, videos of the program are regularly used in colleges and universities such as Southern Methodist University, Richland College, Texas Women’s University, and The University of Texas at Dallas. This permits these educational institutions to bring high-powered experts (on video tape) into the classroom at virtually no cost, and to provide information not available elsewhere. Unlike a regular lecture format, the ability to rationally discuss differing views creates a valuable educational experience.
In addition, we strategically use social media to broaden our footprint through our YOU TUBE channel, Twitter and continual blogs sent to thousands on our list, many of whom are community leaders and business people. Consequently, even the older and more sophisticated viewers of the McCuistion Program are becoming more comfortable obtaining videos of their favorite programs from program web sites. We also send links to audience and panelist participants so that they may send out this information, and this broadens our reach.
Why is the McCuistion Program Unique?: The uniqueness of our program is in its objectivity. Our ability to attract top rate local, national and international experts on all sides of a particular issue is unmatched by most broadcast media. It is a program that the entire family can view, and we are proud to say that our studio audience members are almost as informed as the panelists. They attend by special invitation because of their interest and expertise in the particular topic.