Director since 2010. Tom Axtell has served as general manager of Vegas PBS since 1994. In Las Vegas, he has reinvigorated local programming, integrated emerging technologies, developed new fee for service business models, and created community partnerships to expand the range of sustainable public media services offered locally. His prior service includes public radio stations in Minneapolis/St. Paul and Fargo, and public television stations in Spokane and Milwaukee. He has experience working for nonprofit, college, and school district licensees as well as markets where the stations operated in sole-service, duopoly and multi-market situations. He has left the industry a few times to work as a College Vice President for Development and State Senate Legislative Aide.
Vegas PBS moved into its new Educational Technology Campus in 2009 following a successful $72 million capital campaign. The building is the nation’s first LEED Gold television facility, and first post-Katrina, post 9-11, FCC Media Security and Reliability Commission compliant studio. Vegas PBS operates a multi-cast television service; programs four additional cable and five EBS channels; manages a media library with over 210,000 online and 16,000 on the shelf titles; an emergency communications data-casting service for police, fire fighters, hospitals, and schools; and a statewide Described and Captioned Media Center. An extensive Ready To Learn outreach program hosts over 600 workshops a year attended by over 100,000 people. Vegas PBS produces 20 local TV series and specials annually, plus extensive web content. Its Global Online Advanced Learning (GOAL) program offers 330 professional certifications and 5,000 personal improvement courses for high school students, teachers, medical professionals, workforce training programs, and returning veterans. Over 115,000 students successfully completed courses last year. The station routinely ranks in the top ten PBS stations in the Nielsen overnight metered market reports for sign on to sign off gross rating points.
Tom is active in Las Vegas community affairs, serving on the boards of the Atomic Testing Museum, United Way of Southern Nevada, Nevada Development Authority, Green Chips, Utah Shakespeare Festival Board of Governors, and Las Vegas Rotary. He has served on several industry boards including the Nevada Broadcasters Association, PBS, and NETA. Axtell graduated from Gonzaga University Law School, Spokane, Washington, and also holds a bachelor's degree in history from Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota. He has been married for 35 years and has twin daughters.
Mr. Axtell is Chair of the Interconnection Committee. He also serves on the PBS Executive, Finance, and Nominating and Corporate Governance committees, Diversity Advisory Committee, and PBS Spectrum Task Force. He previously was Chair of the PBS Strategic Planning Advisory Group and served on the Corporate Support Advisory Committee.