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“There’s nothing that I love more than talking about MASTERPIECE,” said Katherine Todd. “I have loved it since the very inception. From the very beginning.”

Katherine recently contributed to the MASTERPIECE Trust, a collaborative initiative between MASTERPIECE’S producer, WGBH Boston, and PBS stations nationwide. Because of her generosity, which has both national and local impact, WGCU Public Media is now a designated MASTERPIECE Trust Partner Station – one of about 25 such stations in the country.

“MASTERPIECE and I go back to the very inception and we have grown together over the years. As I have moved from place to place and grown, and changed, every Sunday evening I have watched MASTERPIECE Theatre. From the time that I was a college student until now in my senior years.”

Giving to support MASTERPIECE in particular is important because “It’s been so vital for me,” Todd said. “And such a great cultural resource… there’s really nothing else like it. And because I realize that it’s under threat…from cable television and that scares me. I think the financial threat is very real.”

The MASTERPIECE Trust was established in 2011 to commemorate MASTERPIECE’s 50th anniversary and sustain the iconic and celebrated series by investing in the development of new scripts and programs, while also supporting local PBS stations.

“I hate to age myself but I’ve been around since it began,” Todd said. “That would be since the original Masterpiece Theatre (the first title to air, in 1971, was ‘The First Churchills,’ starring Susan Hampshire as

Sarah Churchill) – and then after that … we’d sit down at family dinners and what to talk about (during) dinner? The original ‘Poldark’ series (in the 1970s). I particularly remember Alistair Cooke (host from 1971 to 1992), and ‘The Jewel in the Crown,’ that was absolutely stellar. And as Alistair Cooke left and Russell Baker (1992 to 2004) came on, and he was so friendly and so warm. And so welcoming. I very much like his introductions, to programs like ‘Rebecca.’ We really have such a long, long history.”

“Start watching and become impassioned. That’s my message. Start watching and become impassioned.”

WGCU Public Media is grateful to Katherine Todd, and all those who support valuable PBS programs like MASTERPIECE.