PBS and Member Stations to Celebrate "Interdependence" at Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, June 14-16

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PBS President Pat Mitchell, Author Robert Putnam and U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige to Address PBS Annual Meeting

PBS Board of Directors Meets June 13

ALEXANDRIA, VA, June 5, 2001 - PBS station leaders from across the country, along with special guests, will gather in Philadelphia for the 2001 PBS Annual Meeting June 14-16. The theme of the meeting, "PBS and You. Stronger Together," is inspired by the interdependence of PBS and its member stations in building station value and increasing station membership.

More than 1,200 public television general managers, producers and programmers, as well as communications, education and online staff are expected to attend the three-day conference at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and downtown Marriott Hotel at 1201 Market Street.

A single theme unites each day, with keynote speakers, content previews and local station presentations scheduled around each topic. Day one, "Building Member Value," highlights how PBS and stations are working together to offer audiences meaningful program content and related outreach services. Day two, "Building Social Capital," focuses on how public broadcasters can build trust, connection and participation in communities. "Universal Access" closes out the conference with PBS KIDS® sessions underscoring public television's commitment to making content and education services available via multiple media platforms to every American, regardless of income.

Conference keynote addresses and major events include:

  • PBS Chairman Colin Campbell, PBS President and CEO Pat Mitchell and WHYY/Philadelphia President and CEO Bill Marrazzo speaking at opening festivities, while the Williamsburg Players provide a window to the past. (June 14, 9:00 a.m.) Ms. Mitchell, who became PBS's fifth chief executive in March 2000, will deliver a major speech outlining her goals and plans for the nation's premier noncommercial media service. She will also make several programming announcements.
  • General sessions on building member value through content, promotion and community connections. A look at the signature series for fall, including enhanced TV projects (June 14, 11:00 a.m.) is followed by PBS and station executives showcasing new programming, interactive components and local outreach plans. (June 14, 3:00 p.m.)
  • 2000 PBS Communications Awards (June 14, 8:00 p.m.)
  • Robert Putnam, Harvard political scientist and author of the acclaimed book Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, sharing insights on the decline of social and civic involvement and the role public television can play to build social capital. (June 15, 9:00 a.m.)
  • Michel Martin, ABC News "Nightline" correspondent and guest anchor, and host of the new PBS series LIFE 360, along with PBS and station presenters, offering a look at content that offers multiple avenues for local participation and outreach. (June 15, 4:15 p.m.)
  • A celebration of public television's commitment to educational children's programming and universal access, featuring Rita Ray, executive director of West Virginia Public Broadcasting and chair of the PBS board's education committee, discussing the impact of the Ready to Learn Service. (June 16, 9:00 a.m.)
  • Rod Paige, U.S. Secretary of Education, sharing his vision for the future and thoughts on how public television can make a difference in students' lives. The closing session will spotlight PBS KIDS and public TV's commitment to education, with PBS KIDS characters taking part in the festivities. (June 16, 3:15 p.m.)

PBS President and CEO Pat Mitchell will emcee the meeting, which features brief live appearances by an array of artists, including Three Mo' Tenors; D.J. Fontana (Elvis's original drummer), Sun Records producer/guitarist Jack Clement and rockabilly great Sonny Burgess. The BETWEEN THE LIONS "pride," Barney, Big Bird, Clifford and Arthur are among the beloved PBS KIDS characters who will make an appearance on the concluding day.

New PBS KIDS series take center stage at breakfast sessions, beginning with SAGWA, THE CHINESE SIAMESE CAT. (June 14, 7:15 a.m.). At the PBS KIDS BOOKWORM BUNCH breakfast, two new series joining the PBS KIDS Saturday schedule will be unveiled (June 15, 7:15 a.m.). The next day brings CYBERCHASE, a new animated adventure series (June 16, 7:15 a.m.).

Luncheon events spotlight upcoming prime time programming: the mini-series AFRICA, a contemporary, multi-faceted portrait of a continent (June 14, 1:00 p.m.); EVOLUTION, a major programming, online, education and outreach initiative (June 15, 1:00 p.m.); and MYTHQUEST, a live-action family series. (June 16, 11:45 a.m.)

The conference also features dozens of professional development sessions and evening events, including a pre-meeting welcome reception hosted by NHK, Japan's leading digital broadcaster (June 13, 6:00 p.m.) and a WHYY-sponsored opening night welcome party to get things swinging Philly-style. (June 14, 6:45 p.m.) A Disco Inferno party featuring STANDARD DEVIANTS TV, a weekly education series, brings the meeting to a close. (June 16, 7:30 p.m.)

PBS Board of Directors Meeting

On June 13, at 2:15 p.m., the PBS Board of Directors will meet to approve the FY 02-04 PBS budget and to discuss other business. Earlier in the day, the following committee meetings will take place: Finance, Budget & Audit Committee (12:00 p.m.), Membership Committee (10:15 a.m.) and the Compensation Committee (8:00 a.m.). The meetings of the Membership Committee and the Board of Directors are open to the public; however, some portions of these meetings may be held in executive session.

PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 347 public television stations. Serving nearly 100 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at PBS.org.


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Press interested in attending the PBS Annual Meeting must contact:
Dara Goldberg

Harry Forbes
212/708-3001 Kevin Dando