PBS Stations Elect Professional and Lay Directors to PBS Board of Directors

Posted by PBS Publicity on

New Members Will Be Seated at October 25 Meeting


September 9, 2005, ALEXANDRIA, VA - Today Pat Mitchell, PBS President and CEO, announced the names of the PBS Board members who were elected by PBS member stations in a nationwide vote that took place by mail during the month of August. Thomas K. Williams, Alaska Tax Counsel, BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc., has been elected to a four-year term as a Lay Director representing KAKM/Anchorage. William F. Baker, current Board member and President and CEO, Educational Broadcasting Corporation, and Joseph Widoff, President and CEO, WHRO/Norfolk, Virginia, will each serve three years as Professional Directors. Their respective terms will begin at the Organizational Meeting of the PBS Board of Directors on October 25, 2005.

"PBS is tremendously fortunate that such exceptional people choose to dedicate their time and talent to serve on our Board of Directors," said Ms. Mitchell. "The guidance each member provides is invaluable and we deeply appreciate the dedication with which they serve. I look forward to working closely with these newly elected Directors as they bring their own perspectives and strengths to this outstanding group of leaders."

The PBS Board of Directors is responsible for governing and setting policy for PBS. The Board comprises 27 members: 13 professional members who are member station leaders; nine lay members who represent member stations but are not employed by a station; four general directors who are representatives of licensees or the general public; and the PBS president. Board members serve without pay.

The membership of PBS elects the professional and lay members. The general directors are elected by the Board, which also appoints the President and Chief Executive Officer.

Biographical Information

Thomas K. Williams

Mr. Williams is Alaska Tax Counsel, BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc., where he provides professional legal advice regarding Alaska's taxes on the petroleum industry and their effect on BP, and analysis and recommended strategy regarding proposed changes to Alaska's oil and gas tax statutes and regulations. Mr. Williams also reviews audit issues arising under Alaska's oil and gas taxes. Prior to joining BP Exploration in 1987, Mr. Williams was Vice President and General Counsel for Cook Inlet Region, Inc. (CIRI), one of 13 Alaska Native "regional corporations" established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. From 1983-1984, he served as "of counsel" for the former Seattle law firm of Bogle & Gates, and from 1979-1982, he held the state cabinet office of Commissioner of Revenue for the State of Alaska. From 1973-1979, Mr. Williams held other positions with the State of Alaska, including Director of Petroleum Revenue and attorney in the Attorney General's Office.

Mr. Williams served on the Board of Alaska Public Telecommunications, Inc. from 1997 until May last year, when he left because of term limits. He chaired the Board for an unprecedented five consecutive terms, and still serves on APTI's executive committee.

Mr. Williams is a graduate of Princeton University, received an M.A. degree in history from Harvard University, and a J.D. from Stanford University. He is admitted to practice in state and federal court in Alaska, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

William F. Baker

Dr. Baker is a current Board Member and has served as President and CEO, Educational Broadcasting Corporation, licensee of Thirteen/WNET and WLIW21, New York, since 1987. With a career that spans more than 30 years in the industry, Dr. Baker has taken a leading role in helping to shape American broadcasting in both the commercial and public sectors. Author, lecturer and recipient of many honors and awards, he is a sought-after expert in the field and a well-known advocate for the educational potential of television. Dr. Baker previously served a dual role as President of Westinghouse Television, Inc. (from 1979) and chairman of Group W Satellite Communications (from 1981). Dr. Baker has held a variety of programming and general management positions in radio and television in Cleveland, Baltimore, Los Angeles and New York.

Former President of the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Dr. Baker also serves on the Boards of Freedom Communications, National Park Systems Advisory Board, Leitch Technology Corporation, Consumers Union, Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum Foundation, and Rodale Press. Dr. Baker received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Case Western Reserve University, and he is the recipient of honorary degrees from St. John's University, College of St. Elizabeth, Long Island University, New School University and Seton Hall University. He currently serves on the PBS Executive, Finance and Budget, and Business Committees, as well as the Strategic Planning Advisory Group.

Joseph Widoff

Mr. Widoff assumed the position of President and Chief Executive Officer of WHRO, the public broadcasting stations (WHRO TV, WHRO 90.3 FM, WHRV 89.5 FM) in Hampton Roads, Virginia, in July of 2001. Mr. Widoff has served in the public broadcasting industry for more than 25 years. Prior to assuming his current position, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of WETA, the public broadcasting station for the Greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, where he worked from 1995 to 2001.

Prior to his tenure at WETA, Mr. Widoff served as Vice President of the Advanced Television Center in Alexandria, Virginia, a company established to test high-definition television systems on behalf of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). From 1974 to 1989, he served in a variety of financial and business positions with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Mr. Widoff serves on the boards of the Greater Norfolk Corporation, the Hampton Roads Partnership and its Executive Committee, the Cultural Alliance, the Virginia Arts Festival, the Future of Hampton Roads, the advisory Boards of the School of Business and Public Administration at Old Dominion University and the Business School of Christopher Newport University, and Jewish Family Services of Tidewater, Inc. He also serves on two Boards involved with improving early childhood education and services in the area. Mr. Widoff holds a bachelor's degree in government from Clark University in Massachusetts, and a master's degree in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Wisconsin.

About PBS

PBS is a private, nonprofit media enterprise that serves the nation's 349 public noncommercial television stations, reaching nearly 90 million people each week. Bringing diverse viewpoints to television and the Internet, PBS provides high-quality documentary and dramatic entertainment, and consistently dominates the most prestigious award competitions. PBS is the leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of educational services for adult learners. PBS' premier kids' TV programming and Web site, PBS KIDS Online (pbskids.org), continue to be parents' and teachers' most trusted learning environments for children. More information about PBS is available at pbs.org, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet. PBS is headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia.




Jan McNamara, 703-731-5028; jmcnamara@pbs.org

Lea Sloan, 703/739-5021, lsloan@pbs.org