PBS

MEMBER STATIONS ELECT FIVE SYSTEM LEADERS TO PBS BOARD OF DIRECTORS

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ARLINGTON, VA, September 9, 2010 -- Today, PBS Board Chair Geoffrey Sands announced the results of the 2010-2011 voting that elected five station leaders to serve as professional directors on the PBS Board of Directors. Member stations across the nation cast their ballots between August 3 and August 31, 2010. Each of the directors will serve a three-year term that begins on October 19, at the Organizational Meeting of the PBS Board.

The winners of the 2010-2011 election are:

  • Tom Axtell, General Manager, Vegas PBS
  • DeAnne Hamilton, General Manager, WKAR/East Lansing, Mich.
  • John King, President & CEO, Vermont Public Television
  • JoAnn Urofsky, General Manager, WUSF/Tampa, Fla.
  • Allen Weatherly, Executive Director, Arkansas Educational Television Network.

“This is a time of profound change at PBS -- a moment when this enterprise is moving beyond broadcasting and finding numerous, innovative ways to engage audiences and fulfill its mission,” said Mr. Sands, who also serves as a director of McKinsey & Company. “The newly elected directors join an active and engaged Board that includes some of the outstanding leaders in public media. I look forward to working with each of them to continue to find new ways to serve PBS member stations and the American public.”

The PBS Board includes both professional directors, who lead public television stations, and general directors, who represent the general public. The membership of PBS elects the professional directors. The general directors are elected by the Board, which also appoints the PBS president and CEO.

The directors are responsible for governing and setting policy for PBS. In total, the Board comprises 27 members: 14 professional directors; 12 general directors; and the PBS president. All PBS Board members serve three-year terms without pay.

Biographical Information

Tom Axtell, General Manager, Vegas PBS
Tom Axtell is general manager of Vegas PBS since 1994. He has integrated emerging technologies, new business models and community partnerships to expand the range of sustainable public media services offered locally. The company recently moved into the nation’s first LEED Gold television facility. Vegas PBS operates a multi-cast television service; programs four additional cable and six EBS channels; manages a media library with over 170,000 online and 16,000 on-the-shelf titles; manages an emergency communications data-casting service for police, hospitals, and schools; and operates a statewide Described and Captioned Media Center. Vegas PBS produces 20 local TV series and specials annually plus extensive web content. Vegas Virtual is the company’s brand for 620 online courses for high school students, teachers, medical professionals and workforce training programs. Over 8,600 course enrollments and 100,000 training programs were served last year.

Mr. Axtell has broad experience in radio, television, politics and education. He has worked in many markets including Chicago, Milwaukee, Spokane, Fargo, and St. Paul/Minneapolis. He has worked in markets where the PBS station was a sole source, an overlap and a duopoly. Mr. Axtell has also served two colleges in the capacity of vice president for advancement and dean of Telecasting. He has managed election campaigns in Illinois and Wisconsin, served as a legislative assistant in a state legislature and coached swimming teams.

Mr. Axtell is active in Las Vegas community affairs, serving on the boards of the Atomic Testing Museum, United Way of Southern Nevada, Nevada Development Authority, Green Chips, and Las Vegas Rotary. He has served on several industry boards, including the Nevada Broadcasters Association, PBS and National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA). Mr. Axtell graduated from Gonzaga University Law School, Spokane, Washington, and also holds a bachelor's degree in history from Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota.

DeAnne Hamilton, General Manager, WKAR/East Lansing, Mich.
Ms. Hamilton currently serves as general manager of WKAR and director of Michigan State University’s (MSU’s) Broadcasting Services. In this role, Ms. Hamilton directs the management of all operations of WKAR Public Radio and Television, including WKAR digital, two non-commercial cable television channels, Interactive Video Services (IVS) which supports university instruction and research programs by connecting faculty and learners through the use of advanced technologies; and streaming services on wkar.org and social networks. Broadcasting Services offers life-long learning services to the community through its Radio Reading Service and through educational and community outreach and engagement.

Prior to joining MSU in January 2004, Ms. Hamilton was vice-president and station manager of KQED Public Television in San Francisco. She joined KQED in 1990, as a senior producer. Ms. Hamilton quickly moved into the position of associate director of news and current affairs and in 1991 became executive producer of production. She was named vice president and television station manager in 1999 and oversaw the daily operations of programming, national and local production, creative services, audience services and other related activities of the KQED television broadcasting division.

Ms. Hamilton currently serves on the boards of the PBS; the Michigan Association of Public Broadcasters, where she has served as Secretary of the Board; the NETA Board of Directors; the Mid-Michigan Chapter of the American Red Cross; the Michigan Public Radio Network, where she serves as vice president; and the National Black Programming Consortium. She previously served as chair of the University Licensee Association, on the Affinity Group Coalition, on the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) Board of Trustees, and on the board of Pacific Islanders in Communications. Her production work has garnered several awards including San Francisco International Film Festival, International Film Festival of New York and three Northern California EMMY nominations. She began her career in broadcast journalism at KATU-TV (ABC), Portland, Oregon, and continued on to KPIX-TV (CBS), San Francisco, prior to joining KQED-TV.

John King, President & CEO, Vermont Public Television
John King is president and CEO of Vermont Public Television, Vermont’s statewide public broadcasting network and PBS member station, a position he has held since 1998. He holds the same position for the Public Television Association of Quebec, the Canadian affiliate organization for Vermont Public Television, based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Mr. King joined Vermont Public Television in 1987 as the chief financial officer and was promoted to vice president – Finance & Administration in 1990 and to senior vice president & chief operating officer in 1995. He is active and serves on many public broadcasting boards and taskforces. He is a former chair of NETA and the former chair of the Public Broadcasting Management Association. He is a member of the Organization of State Broadcasting Executives (OSBE) and APTS. He serves on the current Corporation for Public Broadcasting Community Service Grant Review Panel and has served on the CPB Future Fund Advisory Panel and the CPB Digital Innovation Panel.

Mr. King serves on the PBS Executive and the Corporate Support Advisory committees. He chairs the PBS Dues Review Task Force and is vice chair of the Finance Committee. He has served as vice chair of the Public Television Interconnection Committee and has served on the National Policy Advisory Committee. Mr. King serves as chair of the Vermont Television Broadcasters Collocation Association and as a member of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center Assembly of Overseers and the Vermont Business Roundtable; he is also on the Board of the McGill University International Executive Management Institute. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University; a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Johnson State College; and an associate’s degree in business administration from Champlain College.

JoAnn Urofsky, General Manager, WUSF/Tampa, Fla.
JoAnn Urofsky is general manager and associate vice president for university advancement, WUSF Public Broadcasting. She leads the public broadcasting operation for the University of South Florida that includes WUSF, Ch. 16; WUSF 89.7FM and WUSF Radio Reading Service in Tampa, Florida. The stations serve audiences throughout the west central coast of Florida from Crystal River to Venice.

Producing significant journalism is a major priority for Ms. Urolsky. As one of five CPB-funded local journalism centers, WUSF is working collaboratively with five other stations to create multimedia content on healthcare. Under Ms. Urofsky, WUSF Public Media has been a technology leader; the first public radio station in the country to broadcast HD radio and to premiere conditional access technology. WUSF is a beta-test site for PBS’ Next Generation Interconnection System. In November, Ms. Urofsky concluded seven years as an NPR board member, including three years as vice chair. She is on the executive committee of the Beta Station Group and University Licensee Association, the NETA member services committee, and the sustainability committee of the AGC and has served on numerous public radio boards and committees. As a member of the executive committee of the Tampa Bay Partnership, she was honored for negotiating a memorandum of understanding between economic development and corporate partners.

Prior to her assignment as general manager of WUSF Public Broadcasting, Ms. Urofsky served as station manager of WUSF 89.7 in Tampa and WGCU in Fort Myers, Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, she was program director of WAER in Syracuse, New York, and spent several years at West Virginia Public Radio where her work included assignments as jazz director, reporter, Morning Edition host, and cultural affairs producer. Her commercial radio background encompasses country, middle-of-the-road, and adult contemporary formats at stations in Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Ms. Urofsky was educated at he Pennsylvania State University where she earned a bachelor of arts degree in radio and television communications and at Syracuse University where she earned an M.A. in broadcast communications. She holds a certificate in non-profit management from the University of South Florida.

Allen Weatherly, Executive Director, Arkansas Educational Television Network
AETN serves Arkansas from broadcast studios in Conway, Arkansas, and six transmitters located throughout the state. The network provides free educational services to the state, including video-streamed lessons and video available free to every public school in the state and professional development for teachers through the popular Arkansas Ideas digital portal and has won multiple awards for AETN productions. AETN is still working on an innovative outreach project -- "IN THEIR WORDS" -- archiving testimonies from Arkansas World War II veterans. AETN has now preserved the memories of more than 550 Arkansas World War II veterans. The network is currently in the midst of a year-long outreach project related to Arkansas’ state and national parks. AETN was honored in 2008 by the American Psychological Association as one of the five best places to work in the United States. AETN was also recently presented as a winner of the Arkansas Governor's Work-Life Award in 2010 for the third consecutive year.

In 2007, Mr. Weatherly was elected in a nationwide vote to a three-year term as a member of the Board of Directors for PBS. In addition to service on the board at large, he is a member of the PBS Board Executive Committee and chairman of the PBS Station Services Committee. He served on two Community Service Grant review panels for CPB and has also held leadership positions with NETA and OSBE.

Prior to AETN, Mr. Weatherly worked with Ozarks Public Television in Springfield, Missouri, from 1980 to 1993. He is a writer and communications instructor at the University of Central Arkansas, teaching courses on broadcast management and media history.

About PBS
PBS, with its nearly 360 member stations, offers all Americans - from every walk of life - the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches more than 118 million people through television and nearly 21 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS' broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry's most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. PBS' premier children's TV programming and its Web site, pbskids.org, are parents' and teachers' most trusted partners in inspiring and nurturing curiosity and love of learning in children. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the Internet.

CONTACT: Jan McNamara, jmcnamara@pbs.org , 703-739-5028

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