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AETN Leader Allen Weatherly Honored Posthumously with PBS Station Leadership Award

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PBS Annual Meeting, SAN DIEGO, CA; May 16, 2017 – Allen Weatherly, former executive director of Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN), was honored posthumously as the 2017 recipient of the Daniel K. Miller PBS Station Leadership Award, PBS announced today. Weatherly died at age 64 in November 2016, following a career in public broadcasting that spanned nearly four decades. His wife, Peggy Weatherly, accepted the award on behalf of the Weatherly family from PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger at the PBS Annual Meeting in San Diego.

“Allen was a leader in every sense of the word,” Kerger said. “He led with humility and grace, and with more than a good dose of humor. He believed in the power of public media, and his passion shone through in everything he did. Allen’s commitment to education was especially inspiring to all of us who believe it is the true core of our work, and he labored tirelessly to ensure that remained our focus.”

The Daniel K. Miller PBS Station Leadership Award recognizes a current or former PBS station manager or managers in the public media system whose leadership, vision, courage and commitment to the mission and principles of public media have inspired station staff and system colleagues to expand the impact of public media to become change agents in the communities they serve. It is named in honor of Dan Miller, who received PBS’ first station leadership award in 2016. Miller is former executive director and general manager of Iowa Public Television, which he led for 11 years and served at for 37 years prior to his 2013 retirement. A nationally known leader in the public television system, Miller is the recipient of numerous broadcasting and broadcast journalism awards, and served on various boards and committees for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS, WGBH, the BBC and other public television organizations.

In selecting Weatherly as this year’s recipient, the PBS Board of Directors cited his “unwavering commitment to the mission and principles of public media; his tireless devotion to the power of education to change lives; and his service to preserve the culture and history of Arkansas.”

“Above all else, Allen was a true friend who enriched our lives with his concern for others, love of music and culture, and his unparalleled sense of humor,” the board noted.

Under Weatherly’s leadership, AETN won multiple awards for local production as well as recognition for being a great place to work. Weatherly is fondly remembered for his dedication to the people of Arkansas, leveraging public broadcasting to support students and teachers and to preserve the stories of local World War II veterans through the outreach project “In Their Words.”

Weatherly joined AETN in 1993 and eventually rose to the position of executive director in 2001. He also served as executive director and board member of the AETN Foundation, which granted him a position in the Arkansas Governor’s Cabinet. Before joining AETN, Weatherly spent 13 years at Ozarks Public Television in Springfield, Missouri, ultimately becoming senior vice president and director of broadcasting. Earlier in his career, he was a newspaper columnist in Missouri and Arkansas and taught communications courses at local universities.

Weatherly was elected to two terms as a member of the PBS Board, including service as Professional Vice Chair of the Board (2010-2013) and as Chair of the Interconnection and Station Services Committees. Under his leadership, PBS developed Guidelines for At-Risk and Unserved Areas, designed to help ensure universal access to the full National Program Service. 

In addition to his service on the PBS Board, Weatherly served in leadership positions with the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) and the Organization of State Broadcast Executives (OSBE), enhancing his service to the public media system at the national level.

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Jennifer Byrne, PBS, jrbyrne@pbs.org; 703-739-5487