PBS Appoints Jonathan Barzilay as Chief Operating Officer

Posted by PBS Publicity on

ARLINGTON, VA; January 15, 2015 – Paula Kerger, President and CEO of PBS, today announced that following a nationwide search, Jonathan Barzilay has been appointed Chief Operating Officer of PBS. Mr. Barzilay will report to Ms. Kerger and serve as a key member of PBS’ senior leadership team. He brings to PBS more than 25 years of media experience in television, content development, children’s media, and digital initiatives, having held senior management positions at ABC, CBS, Qualcomm’s FLO TV and, most recently, the Ford Foundation. His tenure begins March 25, 2015.
As Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Barzilay will work closely with Ms. Kerger to ensure that all PBS services and activities are strategically aligned with the organization’s vision and mission. He will be charged with developing innovative and collaborative strategies that safeguard the health of the public broadcasting system, and for ensuring that resources are allocated effectively to meet business objectives, system priorities, and marketplace challenges and opportunities.

“Our mission at PBS is to serve all Americans with high-quality content that educates, informs and inspires. As the media landscape continues to shift rapidly, it’s imperative that our public media system be nimble, innovative and unified,” said Ms. Kerger. “We are delighted to have Jonathan help lead this charge. In addition to his broad experience and deep connections in the industry, he brings a passion, integrity and collaborative approach that will be tremendously beneficial to our stations and our system.”

“I'm honored to join the exceptional PBS team and look forward to supporting the work being done both nationally and by member stations in communities across the country,” said Mr. Barzilay. “PBS sets the industry standard for public-service media. Its best-in-class programs and services reach all Americans, broadening horizons, and enriching lives.”

Mr. Barzilay joins PBS from the Ford Foundation, where he served as Director, Freedom of Expression, managing the nonprofit grant-making organization's global programs in Media and Arts & Culture. He directed the foundation's work in support of public-service journalism, innovative business models for news programming, and press freedom, as well as support for artists and cultural institutions in diverse communities across the United States.

Before coming to the Ford Foundation, Mr. Barzilay served as Senior Vice President and head of content at Qualcomm's mobile television service, FLO TV, where he was responsible for leading programming, content acquisition and development, and consumer research. Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President and General Manager at CBS Interactive, where he was responsible for all operations at the CBS.com and StarTrek.com websites, including the development of original online series and the launch of an online video player.

Previously, Mr. Barzilay was Senior Vice President at Disney/ABC Cable Networks and General Manager at Toon Disney and ABC Kids. In that role, he oversaw all operations at cable network Toon Disney and the ABC Kids children's programming lineup on ABC-TV, including programming, marketing, business and operations. During the course of his 15-year career at Disney/ABC, he held numerous management posts, including Vice President and General Manager, ABC Children's Programming; and Vice President, ABC Television Network Group. As a member of ABC's legal department, he counseled ABC News and ABC Broadcasting on legal and regulatory matters.

Mr. Barzilay began his career as an attorney in private practice in New York, focusing on entertainment law and First Amendment issues. He received his A.B. from Harvard University and his J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.

About PBS

PBS, with its over 350 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each month, PBS reaches nearly 109 million people through television and over 28 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 website, 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, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Pressroom on Twitter.


Anne Bentley, 703-739-5021, awbentley@pbs.org