WINNERS OF 2008 PUBLIC TELEVISION LEADERSHIP AWARD TO BE HONORED AT PBS DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE
PBS Development Conference will be held at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio, TX October 2-4
Arlington, VA, September 30, 2008 - PBS will honor the five winners of the 2008 Public Television Leadership Award on October 2 during the awards banquet of the PBS Development Conference. This year's meeting, which brings together more than 750 fundraising professionals from around the nation, is being held at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio, TX. The award recognizes individuals, organizations and corporations who, through their sustained commitment, have secured major funding for public television and whose efforts have resulted in lasting benefits to their station and the PBS system at large. This year's recipients are Meredith Brokaw, Franklin Templeton Investments, Ruth and John Huss, Kevin Keane and the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation.
Individuals, organizations and corporations were nominated for the Public Television Leadership Award by PBS member stations. The Development Advisory Committee (DAC), a group of station professionals who provide ongoing counsel and guidance to PBS, selected honorees based on their ongoing commitment to local stations and to public broadcasting, specifically, their use of talent and resources for extraordinary actions and ability to secure major funding.
"The Public Television Leadership Awards are profoundly important because they honor the individuals and organizations that ensure PBS member stations thrive year-round. We appreciate the financial support they provide public television, but more important, we value the time and energy they invest in our work. It is because of these loyal supporters that PBS is able to fulfill its obligation to the American people," said Paula A. Kerger, PBS president and chief executive officer.
MEREDITH BROKAW; Thirteen/WNET, NEW YORK, NY: Meredith Brokaw has served on the Educational Broadcasting Corporation's Board of Trustees since 1997, with her third and final term ending in June 2009. (EBC is the parent company of Thirteen/WNET and WLIW). As a Board member and chair of the Education Committee, Ms. Brokaw saw that EBC could have a measurable impact on the nation's teachers and schools.
In 2005, Ms. Brokaw was instrumental in the creation of the first-ever "Celebration of Teaching and Learning," a two-day professional development conference for K-12 educators. Currently in its fourth year, the celebration attracts more than 8,500 educators from 30 states - making it the largest education event supported by public television and a premier education conference in the country. She has not only given her financial support to the conference, but has also contributed to obtaining additional revenue through sponsorships as well as booth and ticket sales. "The Celebration of Teaching and Learning has proven to be one of the most innovative initiatives we have embarked upon, connecting us with local and national educators and strengthening our core mission of education," said Neal Shapiro, President and CEO. "Meredith will be forever tied to its creation and success, making New York public media a leader in the education field."
FRANKLIN TEMPLETON INVESTMENTS; WPBT, MIAMI, FL: Franklin Templeton Investments (FTI) has served public television viewers through its underwriting support of NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT since July 1990, surpassing two decades by the end of their contract in 2011 and making them the longest-running incumbent corporate sponsor of a national daily PBS program. "This sustained commitment to PBS and its viewers is testimony to Franklin Templeton's interest in providing a program through which people can acquire the financial tools and knowledge to better their lives," said Rodney Ward, Senior Vice President, NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT. "They have been a true partner over the years, not only through their financial generosity, but their invaluable innovation."
As the principle underwriter, Franklin Templeton was able to help NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT evolve from a 15-minute local business news segment to an award-winning 30-minute daily business newscast with bureaus around the world. They also encouraged the show's producers to expand into educational videos on personal finance and helped to develop one of the first online personal finance Web sites. "We value our long-standing partnership with NIGHTLY BUSINESS REPORT and applaud their ongoing contribution to helping investors keep informed and deepen their knowledge and understanding in the ever-changing economic landscape," said John Greer, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Franklin Templeton Investments.
RUTH AND JOHN HUSS; TWIN CITIES PUBLIC TELEVISION, ST. PAUL, MN: Ruth and John have been champions, leaders and financial supporters of Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) for more than two decades. Their generous support has resulted in what is now a remarkable partnership between TPT and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO). Their contributions have helped make possible the broadcasts of SPCO concerts and a documentary of the orchestra's Budapest to Berlin tour. Recently, they contributed to an upcoming TPT production documenting the history of the city parks in St. Paul and Minneapolis and the visionaries who made them possible.
"Together Ruth and John embody the spirit of community engagement and philanthropy, giving generously and selflessly of their time, wisdom and monetary resources," said Jim Pagliarini, President of TPT. "They are thoughtful and discerning - and will challenge expected standards of excellence and integrity. Their door is always open and TPT is always welcome."
Mr. Huss served two terms on TPT's Board of Trustees during their "Power of Two" fundraising campaign - serving on the leadership committee, providing oversight, identifying prospective donors and helping to raise the needed funds. Because of his unrelenting support, TPT was able to launch a local nightly news analysis program that aired for seven years.
KEVIN KEANE; WNED, BUFFALO, NY: Kevin Keane served six years as chair of the station's Board of Trustees, ensuring a successful Capital Campaign for Digital Broadcasting and a seamless transition into the digital area. Mr. Keane helped finalize the sale of WNED's second television station, created The WNED Foundation to provide a dedicated long-term stream of funding and volunteered to lead the Capital Campaign during his tenure on the Board. "WNED would not be the strong, community-centered, financially stable and respected organization it is today without Kevin Keane," said WNED President and CEO Donald K. Boswell. "He would tell you that it is a team effort, but great teams are successful only with great leadership. Kevin is calm in the face of adversity, hopeful in the most challenging of times and humble in triumph."
Always a passionate ambassador for WNED in the community, Mr. Keane was inspired to help raise the funds necessary to produce a high-definition documentary about the Adirondack Mountains in New York. He hosted meetings across the state to enlist the support of other like-minded individuals and, finally, on May 14, 2008, his dream came to fruition with THE ADIRONDACKS. In addition, WNED has gone on to produce other national PBS programming such as THE MARINES and NIAGARA FALLS.
LAURA MOORE CUNNINGHAM FOUNDATION; IDAHO PUBLIC TV, BOISE, ID: The Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation's (LMCF) financial investment in IdahoPTV has made a great portion of local programming available to viewers. "Since 1984, the Laura Moore Cunningham Foundation's support has helped make us a valued statewide resource," said Kim Philipps, IdahoPTV Director of Marketing and Development. "The foundation shares our vision for meeting the needs of the community and we are fortunate to have their friendship, interest and financial support."
Throughout the years, the LMCF has made possible local public affairs programming such as IDAHO REPORTS, a weekly show focusing on state legislative issues, and DIALOGUE, the only statewide call-in program. DIALOGUE FOR KIDS, a series of monthly call-in shows during the school year designed to introduce science topics to elementary school kids, and OUTDOOR IDAHO, the popular series that showcases the beauty of Idaho and the extraordinary accomplishments of its citizens, are also on-air because of the LMCF.
The LMCF has also been extremely helpful in preparing IdahoPTV for the upcoming February 17th digital transition by providing critical funding for upgraded equipment, studio lighting, set and cameras.
The PBS Development Conference is an annual meeting where public television professionals from across the country gather to exchange ideas and gain new perspectives on how to strengthen the case for support. The conference draws upon experienced fundraisers within public broadcasting while welcoming the fresh perspectives from the larger philanthropic community. Attendees find opportunities for networking, idea sharing and brainstorming in every area of fundraising. In addition to numerous fundraising professionals, the PBS Development Conference also attracts communications, education and outreach professionals, as well as station managers from around the country for three days of appreciation, networking and education.
PBS, with its 356 member stations, offers all Americans - from every walk of life - the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content. Each week, PBS reaches more than 65 million people and invites them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and 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 Web site, 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 Web sites on the Internet.