Maine Public is starting a $3 million public fundraising campaign to enhance the radio and TV network’s equipment and create more local programming.

The effort is the final phase of a $30 million campaign begun in 2013, when the network began “quietly” soliciting major donors and companies for money to help implement it’s long-term strategic plan, said Chief Executive Mark Vogelzang.

That money has already helped Maine Public launch its new Maine Public Classical radio network, which began in May with three stations and a fourth added a few weeks later.

Some of the money was used to buy transmitters for each of the seven Maine Public Radio stations that carry news and information programming, he said.

Reaching the $30 million goal is important because, if reached, a $1.2 million donation from an anonymous person will kick in. The donor pledged a total of $2.4 million, half right away and half when the $30 million is reached.

The money has already helped hire an education reporter for Maine Public Radio and add five people to help produce and research news programming, including the daily “Maine Calling” radio program.


The network, which includes five TV stations and 11 radio stations as well as a website and digital programming, has a total staff of about 80, Vogelzang said. The network was known as Maine Public Broadcasting Network until September, when it changed its name to reflect that much of its content is online.

Vogelzang said he’s asking the public’s help in raising the last of the $30 million to continue to broaden the network’s impact. He said Maine Public has just bought a fifth station for its classical network, which will be heard at 93.7 FM in the Bar Harbor and Ellsworth areas by mid-December.

The Maine Public Television network is creating a new program for high school students, called “Maine’s High School Quiz Show,” which will air in 2017. Already, about50 high schools have expressed interest, Vogelzang said. He hopes the fundraising will help with more new programming.

The $30 million is on top of the annual operating budget of about $12 million. Of that, more than 73 percent comes from membership and community donations, while the rest comes from the state, federal funding and grants.

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