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OETA Wins PBS Special Achievement Development Award
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PBS announced category winners for the 2016 PBS Development Awards, which recognizes member stations for outstanding corporate support, membership, philanthropy and special achievement efforts in local communities. Oklahoma’s OETA won the Special Achievement Award. The PBS Development Awards were presented during the PBS Showcase at the annual Public Media Development and Marketing Conference (PMDMC).

“On behalf of the entire PBS system, I congratulate the recipients of this year’s PBS Development Awards,” said Paula Kerger, PBS President and CEO. “Our development community is the backbone of the public media system, enabling our work in service of the American people. This year’s honorees are leading the way in forging new relationships and new ways to connect with audiences and supporters to ensure that public media can continue to deliver on our mission to educate, engage and inspire the American people.”

The Special Achievement Award recognizes successful projects that have a broader organizational or community reach, or outside a single discipline. OETA won the award for its work around “What’s the Deal?,” taking this original digital series from hidden gem to required curriculum. Designed to explain the science behind everyday things in a fun, fast-paced format, “What’s the Deal?” targets children in grades 4-8. The series’ seven-part special on broadcast towers, “Tales of the Tower,” breathed new life into the series, which is now accredited by the Oklahoma Department of Education.

“When you have great local content like “What’s the Deal?” that aligns so closely with your mission, an innovative staff dedicated to supporting it, and underwriters like the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) who are passionate about making an educational impact in the community, it’s easy to innovate,” added Daphne Dowdy, President and CEO, OETA Foundation.

“This project also represents a great collaboration between content producers and development staff. The brainchild of OETA senior producer Jessi Crino, “What’s the Deal?” fits perfectly into Oklahoma classrooms. Underwriter Lynn Bush connected the dots between the show and, OAEC, a statewide organization with an existing educational footprint, to help maximize the series’ impact.”

Other 2016 PBS Development Award winners include WFSU, which serves northern Florida and southern Georgia, Twin Cities PBS, which serves the greater Twin Cities area and parts of Iowa and Wisconsin, KPBS, serving the San Diego area, and Iowa Public Television (honorable mention).

About OETA

OETA provides essential educational content and services that inform, inspire and connect Oklahomans to ideas and information that enrich our quality of life. We do this by consistently engaging Oklahomans with educational and public television programming, providing educational training and curriculum, outreach initiatives and online features that collectively encourage lifelong learning. Explore our website for more information about education curriculum and programs, local productions, digital television, community resources and show schedules.

About PBS

PBS, with nearly 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 100 million people through television and nearly 33 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’ broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS’ premier children’s TV programming and its website,, are parents’ and teachers’ most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.