This week we aired a 2-part series produced by WFAE in Charlotte about North Carolina’s film incentive program. It got some reaction.
[Note: some of the text below was edited for length in the broadcast]:
Listener John wrote:
I thought you did a great job highlighting pro and cons. However I worked in film here and I had always heard they came to Wilmington not only because [of the Dino De Laurentiis] studio. But environmental regulations here [were] lax and … labor was cheap here! … Thanks for [the] story!
Kelly Stultz wrote:
This morning’s report … seemed to have been written by the Republican congressmen opposing the incentive. Just using the numbers reported, we have $1 Billion in revenue in NC since the provisions were bettered for productions, $67,000,000 million in estimated direct sales and payroll taxes generated, and have paid out $110,000,000 in rebates. That does not take into consideration hotel taxes, property taxes paid by the 4,100 new employees in our industry and ignores the tax multiplier that should be applied for all the dollars that were spent by the parties in NC that received the $1 Billion in salaries and purchases. It emphasized the fact that productions are not permanent entities in the state, but the money flow is continuous as long as the productions keep coming. I am an industry payroll accountant and have the luxury of working all over the country. I have worked with crews in every state that has a major incentive program. It’s only been the last couple of years that I have been able to return home to work (always having maintained a residence here in Wilmington) on “Ironman 3”, “Under the Dome” and now on “Sleepy Hollow”.
The report stressed that people come here and then return home after the production is completed, but I can assure you, that at least 90% of the crew on every show filmed in NC, is an NC resident, as are all the vendors and service industry professionals that benefit from the incentive. It’s very cut and dried, without our incentive as it stands, this money will leave the state. Period. I know of no other industry receiving incentives in NC that brings in anywhere near the revenue. I wish I could say the legislators in this state are looking solely at the numbers on this when they look to turn away film and TV production, but I feel it’s more about partisan politics than facts. I’m very disappointed in WHQR for not presenting a more well-rounded report … [It] was a grave injustice to the folks who support this station and are members of the film industry in the state. I will continue to support public radio, but not in this state.
Kelly raises a serious issue that deserves an answer. Our job is not to pick sides on issues but to present issues fairly. We believe the WFAE series was important, well-sourced, and presented several sides of the issue. We stand by it. Listeners can find links to the WFAE stories on the Friday Feedback section of our website.
Miguel wrote to us after we pre-empted the Diane Rehm show last week, as developments in Syria were escalating:
For many of us, The Diane Rehm Show is the most thoughtful and well moderated radio program on NPR or anywhere in the media … last Friday at 3:00 p.m. instead of Diane Rehm, you decided to run another hour of the hugely inferior program "Here and Now" as it supposedly promised continuing coverage of the Syria situation. …if I wanted to listen to infotainment, I would listen to the nonsense that passes as news on CNN, Fox, or MSNBC. Frankly, you would better serve your listeners by running both hours of the Diane Rehm Show from 2-4:00 p.m. in place of the excruciating "Here and Now.
Please realize that many of us are ardent fans of Diane Rehm, and if forced to do so, will abandon your station for the on-line streaming content available on the NPR website.
Donna Kirdahy wrote on our Facebook page to thank us for last week's Soup to Nuts Live with Nina Repeta, Rog and Madafo.
Wonderful evening!, such tremendous talents. thank you whqr for bringing nina and this trio to us! professional, swinging, and entertaining.
And a visitor, apparently from Raleigh, wrote about the opening of our MC Erny Gallery show “Dreaming in Color”:
Thank you so much for a great show. I had a marvelous time on Friday. Keep up the great work.