Veteran PBS Executive Retires
ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 22, 2002 - Pat Mitchell, PBS President and CEO, announced today the resignation of Beth Wolfe, Executive Vice President Corporate Services. Ms. Wolfe has decided to devote her energies and passion to raising her eight-year old daughter, Patrice, and spending more time with her husband, Tom. "To all who know Beth, this comes as no surprise," said Ms. Mitchell. "I am just grateful that I had two years of her dedicated service, her extraordinary knowledge and certainly I benefited from her years of experience. From my first day at PBS to every one in the past two years, Beth has served me, PBS and our member stations with devotion and great skill."
Ms. Wolfe managed PBS's financial operations during a period of rapid growth from $74 million in 1986 to over $300 million today, as PBS grew its video operations, educational services and grants. Ms. Wolfe's thorough knowledge of the company made her an instrumental player in all of PBS's strategic planning. Under former PBS President Ervin Duggan, she co-chaired strategic planning efforts in 1996 which resulted in a four-year plan and a new business model for the company. Under Ms. Mitchell, she was a key player in delivering Ms. Mitchell's first three-year plan in 2001. Ms. Wolfe is well-versed and knowledgeable in technological developments and was a key player in negotiations to replace the satellite system after the catastrophic failure of Telstar 401; she provided financial oversight of public television's $150 million second generation satellite interconnection and ground receiver project, and she was instrumental in developing PBS's direct broadcast satellite program offerings. Ms. Wolfe had the honor of representing staff on the PBS Board presidential search committees in 1993 and 1999, and was instrumental in both transitions. "She will perhaps be most remembered for her leadership during these periods of transition. Her guiding presence and broad experience were invaluable to the staff and Board," said Ms. Mitchell.
Ms. Wolfe served 17 years at PBS. Her first contact with PBS was as the external auditor, with the firm Peat, Marwick and Mitchell. She was then hired as Controller in 1985 and promoted to Chief Financial Officer in 1988, a position she held for 11 years. She was named Executive Vice President in June 1999 and during the following three years managed a wide range of departments, including finance, human resources, legal, business affairs, development, station relations and technology and operations. Ms. Wolfe is a certified public accountant with a bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary and a master's degree in business administration from George Mason University.
PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 349 public television stations. Serving nearly 90 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, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet.
# # #
Dara Goldberg, PBS