PBS Announces Strategic Realignment

Posted by PBS Publicity on

Wayne Godwin Named COO; Executive Team Restructured; Operational Savings Identified and Staffing Adjustments to Take Effect

Alexandria, VA - November 5, 2001 - Following a comprehensive company-wide review that began last spring, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) announced today a restructuring that includes the appointment of a chief operating officer, an executive-level reorganization, operational cost savings, and staffing adjustments.

The PBS realignment plan targets significant annual savings achieved through organizational restructuring and a wide range of cost cutting measures, including changes in various budgeting, reporting and management processes.

"PBS has taken these proactive measures to both realign our resources to reflect strategic priorities and to ensure that every service we provide to our member stations is cost efficient and optimized for greatest impact," said Pat Mitchell, PBS president and chief executive officer.

The principal elements of the strategic realignment are:


  • Wayne Godwin, executive vice president, Member Affairs, has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer. Reporting directly to Ms. Mitchell, he now manages the daily operations of all PBS divisions, except for programming, which reports directly to the CEO. Mr. Godwin, whose 35-year career in public broadcasting includes service as president and general manager of WCET-TV Cincinnati, and a term as vice chair of the PBS board of directors, joined PBS in June 2000.

  • Judy Harris, executive vice president, PBS Businesses, adds Development to her title and assumes a number of new management responsibilities in addition to her wide-ranging current portfolio of content-related revenue generating enterprises. Along with overseeing the Development and Market Research departments, led by senior vice president Robert Altman, PBS's Adult Learning Service and Literacy Link have been relocated to her division from PBS Education, as well as PBS Aloft, an in-flight program service previously in PBS Programming. Ms. Harris reports to Mr. Godwin. A former Discovery Communications executive, she joined PBS in March 2001.

  • Beth Wolfe, executive vice president and chief administrative officer, has been named executive vice president, Corporate Services, reporting to Mr. Godwin. In her new post she supervises Station Relations and is responsible for increased centralization of departmental budget oversight. She continues to manage Finance and Administration, the General Counsel's office and Human Resources. A 16-year veteran of PBS, Ms. Wolfe began as controller and became PBS's chief financial officer in 1988, managing PBS's financial operations during a period of rapid budget growth -- from $70 million in FY86 to $313 million in FY00 -- and the launch of several new business ventures.

  • PBS Select, an optional programming service available to member stations, will be eliminated; the Midwest programming office will close and Alyce Myatt, vice president, programming, Midwest, will relocate to PBS's Alexandria offices.

  • PBS had adjusted its workforce earlier this year, and this realignment will reduce its 565-person staff by an additional 10 percent.
  • "As the nation's only nonprofit and noncommercial media enterprise, PBS and its member stations face the challenges of remaining programmatically distinctive in an economic environment that impacts funding from both public and private sources," Ms. Mitchell added. "Those factors, sadly, have led us to some difficult staffing decisions, and as we have been working toward this reorganization for several months, a high percentage of those reductions are accounted for in vacancies that will not be filled. Along with many of our stations and most other media companies, we have made these decisions in order to bring operating costs to levels more sustainable in difficult times."

    PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 349 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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    Laura Nichols

    Dara Goldberg