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NHPTV to Become a Wholly Owned Non-Profit Subsidiary of USNH

February 27, 2008

USNH Board of Trustees approves move to transfer and enhance
operating oversight and responsibility

After nearly a year of research and planning, the University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees voted to transfer authority for day-to-day operations of New Hampshire Public Television from UNH to NHPTV’s own Board of Governors as a wholly owned subsidiary of USNH. The move was made to provide NHPTV, in a rapidly changing media environment, with autonomy and agility as it fulfills its mission as New Hampshire’s statewide public television station

NHPTV has been part of UNH since 1960. Its broadcasting license is held, and will continue to be held, by the USNH Board of Trustees. Changes to formally establish NHPTV as a separate 501(c)(3) organization and make other structural moves to become more independent are in the planning stages and will occur over the course of 2008. The changes will not impact programming, station locations or operations. Once completed, NHPTV employees will be part of the non-profit organization instead of UNH or USNH employees.

After months of work by committees that included representatives from the USNH Board and NHPTV Board, it was determined that NHPTV would be better able to address current and future opportunities under the direct management of its own board and as a non-profit organization. This change is coming just a year before February 19, 2009, the date when all American broadcasters are required to switch from analog to digital television broadcasting. This change will provide NHPTV with a second broadcast channel and additional programming and educational opportunities.

“NHPTV is a vibrant organization,” CEO and General Manager Peter Frid said. “This change is an opportunity for NHPTV to more nimbly adapt and respond to viewer needs and interests, and to provide targeted educational programs, partnerships and services to the greater New Hampshire community.”

The study group that made the recommendation was chaired by George Epstein, a member of the USNH Board and chair of the Financial Affairs Committee. Study group members included NHPTV Board member Mark Collin and USNH trustees Elizabeth Hoadley and John Moody. Their recommendation was made after a lengthy review process that involved the USNH chancellor and vice chancellor, the presidents of all four USNH institutions, and NHPTV’s general manager, among others.

As part of the change approved by the USNH Board, the NHPTV board will have control of NHPTV assets with some restrictions and USNH requirements. All appointees to the NHPTV Board will be approved by the USNH Board, and the NHPTV Board will include three USNH Trustees and two USNH management representatives. The USNH Board will approve the NHPTV annual budget, and continue to seek operating and capital appropriation support from the state as a portion of USNH requests. The NHPTV Board will have full delegated authority over the operations of NHPTV, including all employee matters.

NHPTV engages minds, connects communities, and celebrates New Hampshire with programs that entertain, educate and enrich. Beyond its award-winning local and national television programs, New Hampshire Public Television is a leader in education and community outreach. NHPTV provides instructional services for 206,000 students from kindergarten through high school; offers Ready to Learn programs and services for children preschool to age 8, parents, and early education professionals; and provides professional development programs and advanced technology training for educators in New Hampshire and neighboring states. For more information, visit www.nhptv.org.

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