Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

$2 Million Dollar Gift From Tom Golisano Caps WXXI's "Go Public" Campaign

Tom Golisano & Norm Silverstein
Tom Golisano & Norm Silverstein

WXXI Public Broadcasting announced Wednesday that a $2 million gift from Rochester entrepreneur and philanthropist Tom Golisano helped the station exceed its goal in its multi-year “Go Public” campaign to secure the future of public media in Rochester.               

“As we prepare to celebrate the 50th anniversary of WXXI-TV, Tom Golisano has helped assure that public broadcasting will be here to serve our community for many years to come,” said Norm Silverstein, WXXI and Little Theatre President & CEO.

With the Golisano gift, the “Go Public” campaign raised $18.4 million, surpassing its original goal of $17 million. The funds raised over the past five years have already paid dividends to the community with investments in new transmitters for AM 1370 and Classical 91.5 FM, improvements in the WXXI television signal, new cameras and editing systems, and support for news programming and documentaries. The campaign also benefited Rochester’s historic Little Theatre with the installation of digital projectors, sound systems, and new screens for all five theaters.

“I am pleased to help support WXXI and its mission to serve the community with high quality programming that features award-winning children's shows, public affairs, arts and culture and more,” said Golisano. “WXXI also fills an important role producing innovative, original programming showcasing regional resources that educate, inform, and inspire.”

This is the second major personal gift WXXI has received from Golisano. His first gift was in 2004, when he donated $2 million to WXXI’s “21/21 Vision” campaign that enabled the station to make the FCC-mandated transition to digital broadcasting. WXXI has also received significant support from the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation for its Move to Include initiative designed to promote inclusion for people with intellectual and physical disabilities.

Golisano’s latest gift will help WXXI acquire new lighting and control systems, production equipment, and other necessary upgrades to keep WXXI a “state of the art” facility that serves the Greater Rochester area and beyond.

“This is a bittersweet day for us because our original Campaign Co-Chairs, the late Jane and Larry Glazer, aren’t here to share in this celebration,” said Silverstein. “However, we are proud to honor their memories with the successful conclusion of this campaign, and we thank the Glazer’s children – Ken, Rick, and Mindy – for carrying the torch as Honorary Co-Chairs of ‘Go Public’.”

More than 2,500 people contributed to the “Go Public” Campaign, the most successful major campaign in the 50-year history of WXXI.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.