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WINNERS OF 2006 PUBLIC TELEVISION LEADERSHIP AWARD TO BE HONORED AT PBS DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE



Arlington, VA, October 2, 2006 – PBS will honor the 5 winners of the 2006 Public Television Leadership Award on Friday, October 6 at the closing banquet of the annual PBS Development Conference. This year’s meeting, which brings together over 800 fundraising professionals from around the nation, is being held at the Waterfront Marriott in Baltimore, MD. 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/or the PBS system at large. This year’s recipients are the E.L. Cord Foundation, Jim and Barbara Goodmon, Liberty Mutual, Carmen Carmichael Murphy, and the O’Neill Family.

Individuals, organizations, and corporations were nominated for the Public Television Leadership Award by PBS member stations. The Development Advisory Committee, 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.

“This year’s recipients of the Public Television Leadership Award worked tirelessly to ensure public television fulfills its mission to provide programming and services of unparalleled quality. The ongoing commitment and generosity of these extraordinary people and institutions provides a strong foundation for public broadcasting in communities around the country,” said Paula A. Kerger, PBS’s president and chief executive officer.

E.L. CORD FOUNDATION; KNPB, RENO, NV: The E.L. Cord Foundation first donated operational funding to KNPB in the form of underwriting in 1985. In the past 21 years, over $3 million has been invested in operational and capital campaign support. Kliff Kuehl, President and CEO of KNPB noted, “The generous financial contributions of the E.L. Cord Foundation challenge other corporations and organizations to invest in the community services that Channel 5 provides.” The $3 million capital campaign to build a new facility for the station started in 1989 with an initial gift of $50,000 from the E.L. Cord Foundation, and ultimately the trustees of the foundation granted $507,500. The $6 million capital campaign to fund the conversion to digital television commenced in 1999 with a $500,000 gift from the E.L. Cord Foundation, which was the first installment of their $1 million dollar investment.

-more- JIM AND BARBARA GOODMON; UNC-TV, RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC: Jim and Barbara Goodmon have been staunch supporters of public television for more than two decades. In 1989, Jim served as founding chair of the North Carolina Public Television Foundation, established to raise funds needed to equip UNC-TV’s new studios, launching a capital campaign for UNC-TV with a one million dollar gift through the A. J. Fletcher Foundation. As the deadline for UNC-TV’s digital conversion approached, Jim Goodmon—a pioneer in the development of digital television in the United States—strongly advocated the potential value of digital technology to serve the people of North Carolina through public television. As a member of the UNC-TV Board of Trustees, Goodmon recognized the opportunity for UNC-TV and argued vigorously for funding to finance the network’s digital conversion. On the programming front, generous funding from the A. J. Fletcher Foundation, whose chief executive is Barbara Goodmon, has enabled UNC-TV to produce BIOGRAPHICAL CONVERSATIONS, a landmark series on distinguished North Carolinians that has created a wealth of archival material for historians and future generations. “The Goodmons’ efforts on behalf of UNC-TV have played a critical role in assuring that the people of North Carolina continue to enjoy the benefits of enriching, life-changing services that are the bedrock of our mission as public broadcasters,” said Tom Howe, director and general manager of UNC-TV.

LIBERTY MUTUAL; WGBH, BOSTON, MA: Liberty Mutual has been a sponsor of WGBH-produced national series since October 1997, when the company began underwriting production of AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. Liberty Mutual renewed that sponsorship three times, and in 2004 added sponsorship of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW to their portfolio. Extending their commitment still further, Liberty Mutual has signed on as the exclusive, premier sponsor of FROM THE TOP: LIVE FROM CARNEGIE HALL, a 13-part television series, based on the popular radio program, that will debut in early 2007, showcasing rising young classical performers. Liberty Mutual's extraordinary national support grows out of its 40-year relationship with WGBH as a local funder. The company began by matching the contributions of employees to the Boston station. Their involvement grew to include local underwriting of such high-profile programs as THIS OLD HOUSE and NATURE; sponsorship of diversity and heritage programming on WGBH; and funding of WGBH captioning services for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers. WGBH President Henry Becton, Jr. notes that "Liberty Mutual is an enormously valued corporate partner, demonstrating over a long period of time a rare and deep commitment to national and local corporate sponsorships, to WGBH, and to all of public television."

CARMEN CARMICHAEL MURPHY; WNIT, ELKHART, IN: Carmen Carmichael Murphy’s ten years with WNIT include leadership roles such as chair of the Board of Directors (three years), chair of the Development Committee, co-chair of the station’s 25th Anniversary Gala and co-chair with her husband, Chris, of the 30th Anniversary Gala which together netted over $365,000 for WNIT. In addition, she has personally made generous financial contributions, and opens her home frequently to host functions that benefit the WNIT. She is constantly in search of new friends and donors for WNIT, and has attracted as many as 600 new community leaders to invest in the work and value of public television. “Building on this tradition of innovation and commitment, Carmi Murphy has donated her time, talent and treasure to WNIT. Non-profit organizations seldom find volunteer leadership with the committed passion of Carmi Murphy,” said Mary Pruess, President and General Manager of WNIT.

-more- O’NEILL FAMILY; WTVP, PEORIA, ILLINOIS: The O’Neill family donated a major portion of their Riverfront property for the purpose of the station’s new digital facility, while their total giving exceeds $1.2 million over the years. In 1999, WTVP first approached long-time station member William O’Neill with a proposition to convert his riverfront truck terminal, the center of his family trucking business for more than 50 years, into a site of the new station. Father-and-son team William O’Neill and Joe O’Neill decided to deeply discount the sale of the land and the facility that had belonged to their trucking company, and where the station ultimately constructed its new studio beginning in 2003. Seven years later, Joe O’Neill is now the chairman of the board of trustees, and co-chairman of the Minds Matter Campaign, an effort to increase annual major giving to the station by $8 million in the next five years. “Despite a busy schedule running a logistics and transportation company with more than 2,000 employees and raising a family, Joe and Janet O’Neill take time to watch a good deal of programming on WTVP, and they appreciate the impact it has made in their community,” according to President and CEO of WTVP, Chet Tomczyk. “WTVP holds up the O’Neill family as a standard worthy of national salute.”

The PBS Development Conference is an annual meeting where public television professionals from more than 140 public broadcasting licensees 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 including Membership, Major & Planning Giving, Corporate Support, Pledge, E-membership, Capital Campaigns, Customer Service, Volunteers and Auctions. In addition to numerous fundraising professionals, the PBS Development Conference also attracts communications, education and outreach professionals and station management from around the country for three full days of networking, education and inspiration.

About PBS PBS is a media enterprise that serves 354 public noncommercial television stations and reaches almost 90 million people each week through on-air and online content. 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 a leading provider of educational materials for K-12 teachers, and offers a broad array of other educational services. 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, one of the leading dot-org Web sites on the Internet.

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