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Basin PBS raising money for move - Odessa American: Local News

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Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013 9:45 am

A building that housed a nightclub in the 1980s will soon become the home of public broadcasting in the Permian Basin.

But not before Basin PBS raises the remainder of its $2.7 million capital campaign to move to the Historic Ritz Theater in downtown Midland.

Jane Wolf, a board member with Basin PBS, said Odessa College is in need of the room that the TV station has occupied for many years, and Basin PBS needs to move out by the end of June.

“We have concluded in the last year that the historic theater might be the very best way for Basin PBS to put our electronics together with our administrative staff,” Wolf said.

And with less than a month to go, Wolf said she is hopeful that West Texans can help the station raise $500,000 to complete the capital campaign and allow them to begin the transition.

Molly Murphy, the station’s interim general manager, said being under one roof will allow the station to provide more to the community.

“Currently master control and administration offices are 20 miles apart,” Murphy said. “It will provide us with a small studio so we can get back to our roots producing great programs.”

Local content is an important part of PBS, Murphy said, in addition to national programs such as Curious George, Antiques Roadshow and Masterpiece.

Alyson Trevino, the creative and marketing director with Basin PBS, said the locally produced Western Perspective is an award-winning program and is picked up on other PBS stations.

Basin PBS is also one of the smallest PBS stations in the country, Trevino said.

But that’s not all Basin PBS does, with an emphasis on helping the community, she said. Basin PBS helps with public service announcements for Shrimpfest, the Junior League and Special Olympics.

With three weeks to go before the capital campaign is over, Wolf said she believes the goal is attainable, and the station would need $1,000 from 500 people to complete the goal.

“I think if people will come through, it’s easily doable,” Wolf said.

The Historic Ritz Theater was originally constructed in 1928, Murphy said, and has since been remodeled to several business, with the most recent being an 80s nightclub.

Walls will need to be torn down and built up, Murphy said.

“It’s been empty for quite some time,” she said. “The money not only goes toward the renovations of the Ritz, but it also takes care of moving master control and the administrative folks to that space.

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