The Greater Montana Foundation recently awarded grants of $10,470 for two commercial broadcasts, one covering the legacy of US Senator Max Baucus and another about a unique military training program at the University of Montana’s Mansfield Center, according to Randy Morger, Fort Benton, Chair of the GMF Board of Trustees.

“The mission of our founder, Ed Craney, was to provide support for electronic communications on issues, trends, and values of importance to present and future generations of Montanans. His special emphasis was on the improvement of commercial broadcasting, so GMF encourages commercial stations to apply for grants to fund news and/or public affairs multi-part series and other issue programs.”

The Montana Television Network, a network of seven CBS stations in the state, received  a $6780 grant, covering travel for a three-member team to Washington, DC  for “On Special Assignment: Senator Max Baucus” a series covering the Senator’s legacy.   Reporters Marnee Banks and Jay Kohn covered Senator Baucus’ confirmation hearing, while interviewing the Senator and those who served with him.  There is additional reporting on his legacy in Montana.   Brief reports were included in nightly news casts in January, with an in-depth 30 minute program covering this monumental change in Montana politics planned for March 2.

A grant of $3600 was awarded to Beartooth Communications Company (NBC stations KTVH/KBGF) for a 30 minute program (with associated news reports) on “The Languages of War: Teaching Soldiers, Saving Lives,” produced by Ian Marquand, scheduled for a February 28 broadcast.    The program tells how a language and culture program at the University of Montana’s Mansfield Center saved lives of American soldiers and Iraqi and Afghani civilians during the last six years of war.

Morger noted that although the annual grant application deadline is April 1 of each year, there is no deadline for commercial grants, which have a specific application form and are accepted at any time.


This program demonstrates that education, respect and understanding can be powerful tools for America’s armed forces abroad. It may prove to be a model for both American diplomacy and defense, while at the same time validating the beliefs and values of former U.S. Senator and Ambassador Mike Mansfield.  Included in the program are interviews by Marquand with recently returned Montana military and how the program assisted them.