For Public TV President in Boynton, Hazards of Job Are Nailed Coffins, Madoff Investors
"I got very uptight and nervous, and I started to rock," Carr recalls. "The coffin tipped over, landed on its left side, and I broke my elbow."A few days later, Carr tried to do the weather report while astride a live elephant. He fell off, broke the same elbow, and had to explain it to the same nurse.
Next thing Carr knows, he's at a hospital, confronted by an emergency room nurse wanting to know what happened.
"I said I fell out of a coffin. That got quite a bit of attention at 2 in the morning."
But these days, Carr's most harrowing adventures are with the Boynton station's balance sheet, which took a hit after Madoff swindled some its Palm Beach County donors.
For example, one local foundation that used to contribute $50,000 a year to help underwrite the Newshour With Jim Lehrer just cut its contribution to $14,000.
That has meant, in effect, mothballing two big production studios that WXEL owns and used to keep in continuous operation. Now they operate on a standby basis only.
Some shows have had to be cut.
But Carr is optimistic. Membership remains strong. During the latest pledge drive, WXEL surpassed its $200,000 goal by $10,000. Congress appears ready to pass some stimulus funding for public broadcasting. And Carr is also excited about a golf classic that will benefit WXEL in early November. It will be held at an exclusive Donald Trump course that is normally accessible only to people who can afford a $175,000 membership fee.
"I don't expect this [economic downturn] to last forever," Carr adds. "From all I've seen and read, it's bottoming out and starting to turn around," Carr adds.