Beggars banquet

KERA makes a stab for its former glory with less wheedling and more programming

The biggest event at KERA recently was a two-part documentary titled The U.S.-Mexican War 1846-1848, which aired nationally on public television stations. The project, produced by Sylvia Komatsu, the vice president for production at KERA, has been a long time in the making--seven years. It began before Craigie arrived at the station. But Craigie helped raise the funds needed as the demands for the documentary's final $2.3 million budget kept growing in the past two years.

In the development stage, KERA has other big documentaries planned, Craigie says. She's planning a documentary currently named First Impressions. It will cover recent scientific advances in understanding the development of infant brains. She's already lined up Jim Lehrer to host a national town hall in conjunction with the airing of the documentary and Fred Rogers (of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood) to work on the show.

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