As a member of the Board of Trustees of Maine Public, I’m glad that Susan Cook mentions (in her letter to the editor Aug. 31) two important initiatives happening on both public television and radio this fall – “The Vietnam War” PBS documentary which premieres this month (Sept. 17) on Maine Public Television, as well as Maine Public Classical, launching its newest free over-the-air signal for Bath and the Midcoast in early October at 96.7 FM.

Both of these initiatives are part of the Board’s strategic plan, calling for more investments in journalism, expanding classical music statewide 24/7, improving digital content, and strengthening the financial sustainability of the organization. The Board understands and supports the multi-year effort to fund and build the capacity to offer more choice and more programming to more Mainers of all political and socio-economic segments of our region.

With our newest investment of a radio signal for Midcoast residents, over 350,000 more Mainers can receive poetry, opera, classical music, jazz, and much more … all through a simple FM radio. And our television side also has expanded channel choice this year to bring 24/7 PBS Kids to every Mainer through new free over-the-air TV channel. Of course there’s a lot more to do, but we’re on the right track, and the hundreds of thousands of viewers and listeners each week to the stations of Maine Public are proof of that fact.

And finally, I want to assure Ms. Cook that her assertion that we are “a heavily Republican-influenced Board of Trustees” is simply untrue. In fact, we have very diverse political views, none of which influence our decisions, which are made only in an effort to help Maine Public continue to serve its listeners and viewers well.

Anna Marie Thron
Portland and Boothbay