Former WMFE chief launches non-profit media venture

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ttt-towerSome say the future of journalism will be in non-profit groups. One Central Florida media executive is going see if that’s true.

Former longtime WMFE TV and radio president and CEO Stephen McKenney Steck has announced the formation of the Carroll McKenney Foundation for Public Media.

“Carroll McKenney Foundation for Public Media is a new Oviedo based non-profit public charity launching as a non-commercial and educational online public media program venture,” the group said in a news release. “CMF will produce and distribute the programming via the Internet in the form of short audio segments of features and full length sound-rich audio programs and documentaries all available online via on-demand audio streaming and downloadable audio podcasts.”

After the jump, what local anchor is involved with this project …

Judy Duda, the foundation’s board chair, said that “CMF’s program content will be geographically derived from ever-widening circles in Central Florida with east Seminole County as it initial epicenter.”

The group will initially produce shows under the title “Central Florida Matters,” and later will add “Central Florida: State of our Spirit.” CMF hopes to produce twice-yearly documentaries on topics such as local history of faith. CMF plans to recruit and develop local high school and college talent, as well as try to fund independent audio producers to present their work in digital form on the group’s site.

Steck founded CMF with his wife Desta L. Horner after his retirement from WMFE in December 2007. He had served 38 consecutive years as president and CEO of the public broadcasting stations.

In addition to Steck, other local broadcasters with ties to this project include WFTV-Channel 9 anchor Bob Opshal, current WMFE president and CEO Jose A. Fajardo and Majorie Bekaert Thomas, president of Ivanhoe Broadcast News — all of whom are serving as trustees of CMF.

You can visit the group’s Web site at

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