Victor Hogstrom, the new president and CEO of KPTS, wants Channel 8 to grow — in employees, funding, viewers and programs.
Hogstrom, 62, says he intends to make a difference.
“I like Wichita,” Hogstrom said. “I have always had an eye on this station because I felt all along that for a 47-year-old station it was not making the progress that it should.”
KPTS is one of the oldest public broadcasting stations in the nation, he said.
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“My vision is to make this station the voice and platform of the community,” he said.
Hogstrom grew up and was educated in West Africa. He received two bachelor’s degrees from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah — one in mass communications, the other in international relations. His master’s degree also is from BYU in mass communications with a minor in political science.
His career has included positions at commercial, cable access and noncommercial stations.
Hogstrom has worked at public television stations in Kansas City, Mo., Chattanooga, Tenn., Chico-Redding, Calif., and Rockford, Ill.
Now in Wichita, one of his first goals is to increase funding for KPTS. The station’s operating budget is $2.3 million — a 12 percent reduction from last year. The station is responsible for raising 64 percent of its budget locally.
“The state of Kansas has reduced its funding by 90 percent,” he said.
“The budget should be above $3 million.”
Hogstrom said he wants viewers to feel the station is more inclusive — not just to Wichita’s interests but to viewers in nearly half the state of Kansas. KPTS is watched by more than 350,000 households each month; its broadcast area covers 23 counties and its satellite broadcast covers 42 additional counties.
“Most of the (Kansas) counties don’t see us as their public TV station,” Hogstrom said. “The station has not been as involved in the community as it should have been.”
Four locally produced programs the station is promoting are “Hatteberg’s People,” a weekly half-hour program with now retired KAKE anchor Larry Hatteberg; “One on One,” a 30-minute interview program hosted by Hogstrom to introduce south-central Kansas to notable personalities; “Positively Kansas” with local journalists Sierra Scott and Jim Grawe; and “Christmastime in Wichita,” which will air during the holiday season and feature local entertainment, decorations, food and events.
Daytime programming has also shifted from all-children’s shows to a period from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays that features more adult programming with Charlie Rose, how-tos and Nova rebroadcasts.
“My vision is when things happen — anything that is important, whether that is when the symphony is performing and people want to see it on this station, to controversial issues, we will present that on this station,” Hogstrom said.
“We will be different from other channels in that we will be focusing on events in our community, not news. We want to take this station into the different communities we serve.”