Paula Kerger, President and CEO, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)


SPEAKER: Paula Kerger, President and CEO, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)


What is public television's role in a YouTube world? How are Big Bird and Bill Moyers surviving in a crowded, yet increasingly consolidated, media landscape? What are the challenges of running a public service broadcasting company amidst sweeping change in both the media and philanthropic world, especially in light of periodic budget cut threats from Capitol Hill?

The CEO of PBS Paula Kerger will discuss her efforts to preserve and develop public television’s relevance as the virtual world of the Internet proliferates.

Kerger was already a veteran public television executive at the time of her appointment as president and CEO of PBS in 2006. She has served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the New York-based Educational Broadcasting Corporation, as well as vice president and station manager of Thirteen/WNET, two of the nation's largest public television stations. At WNET, she oversaw local program acquisition, broadcast scheduling, communications, and on-air promotion. She also directed the launch of four digital offshoot channels: ThirteenHD, Kids Thirteen, World and Create. The latter, launched in January 2006, is public television's first 24-hour lifestyle channel. Kerger is also an experienced and successful fundraiser. Most notably, she led the Campaign for Thirteen, a four-year effort which raised $79 million for WNET and became the largest endowment campaign ever undertaken by a public television station.

Previously, Kerger held management positions at the Metropolitan Opera and the U.S. Committee for UNICEF. She is a director of the PBS Foundation, an independent organization that raises private sector funding for PBS. In 2005, she was named to the Women's Forum, an organization of 300 prominent women in New York's arts and business arenas. Kerger received her bachelor's degree from University of Baltimore. She and her husband live in Washington D.C.

This program was recorded live on January 14, 2008