ARLINGTON, VA; September 22, 2021— Today, PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger announced the results of the recent PBS Board elections, in which five individuals were selected to serve three-year terms as Professional Directors on the PBS Board.
WQED Multimedia President and CEO Deborah Acklin and Ideastream Public Media President and CEO Kevin E. Martin were elected to serve second terms as Professional Directors. They will be joined by Amy Shaw, President and CEO of Nine PBS; Jayme Swain, President and CEO of VPM and the Virginia Foundation for Public Media; and Ed Ulman, President & CEO of Alaska Public Media.
"We are thrilled to welcome these station leaders to our Board of Directors," said Kerger. "They bring a wealth of experience, knowledge and passion to PBS, and we are grateful for their commitment to the essential mission of public television.”
The 27-person Board includes both Professional Directors, who are station leaders, and General Directors, who serve as lay members of the Board, as well as the PBS President. The PBS Board of Directors is responsible for governing and setting policy for PBS. General and Professional Directors of the PBS Board are elected to three-year terms and serve without pay.
PBS member stations elect the Professional Directors. The General Directors are elected by the entire Board, as are the PBS President and the Board officers.
Deborah Acklin, President & CEO, WQED Multimedia (elected to a second term)
Deborah Acklin is President and CEO of WQED Multimedia in Pittsburgh, the nation’s first community-owned public media company, and also known worldwide as “Mister Rogers’ station.”
Acklin has served in multiple executive roles in public media, the cable television industry (The National Geographic Channel), commercial broadcasting (KDKA-TV/CBS) and magazine publishing (PITTSBURGH magazine). She also helped launch the first public television channel in Bermuda (CTV).
Her tenure at WQED includes many achievements, including a complete financial turnaround, and five Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards for Overall Excellence.
Acklin's own work has been honored with many awards, including a national Emmy Award nomination for a documentary about the legendary Mister Rogers; multiple Mid-Atlantic Emmy awards; a CINE Golden Eagle; The Gabriel Award from the Catholic Communicators Conference; the Pearl Award from the descendants of the Warner Brothers; a film award from the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR); Associated Press honors for Best Newscast; and many personal awards and honors in the Pittsburgh region.
Acklin is active in national public media and the Pittsburgh community on a variety of boards and advisory boards, including PBS; The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust; The Pittsburgh Symphony; and formerly, APTS and the Public Television Major Market Group.
Kevin E. Martin, President & CEO, Ideastream PublicMedia (elected to a second term)
Kevin E. Martin is President and Chief Executive Officer of Ideastream Public Media, Northeast Ohio’s multiple media public service organization, which includes WVIZ/PBS, 90.3 WCPN, WCLV 104.9, ideastream.org and management of The Ohio Channel and Statehouse News Bureau on behalf of all Ohio’s public broadcasting stations. He joined Ideastream Public Media in 2017 to lead its next level of transformational products and services in the rapidly changing media landscape.
Under Martin’s leadership, Ideastream Public Media has embarked upon several innovative projects.
As local news organizations across Ohio suffer from layoffs and closures, Martin spearheaded the creation of a statewide news collaborative, partnering with other Ohio public media stations to coordinate editorial resources, build an efficient network of local journalists, and provide new radio and digital news services for all Ohioans. He led the development of a public media workforce collaborative to enhance career growth opportunities and scalable professional development for public media employees across the region.
Prior to joining Ideastream Public Media, Martin served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of KQED, in San Francisco. Before leading operations at KQED, Martin spent seven years as the Vice President of Station Grants and Television Station Initiatives at CPB. There, Martin was charged with overseeing the management and disbursement of $300 million in “formula” grants to public television and radio stations—more than 70 percent of CPB’s total federal appropriation—and was responsible for several other competitive grant programs for public television stations.
Martin began his career in 1990 at the Independent Television Service (ITVS) as their first Director of Finance and Administration, establishing the infrastructure and core business systems for the then-new public media entity. After five years with ITVS, Martin moved on to work as Senior Vice President and CFO of Twin Cities Public Television (KTCA), where he was instrumental in developing their first for-profit subsidiary. In 1998 Martin joined North Texas Public Broadcasting (KERA), serving as Executive Vice President and COO, and Interim President and CEO, leading the effort to turn around KERA’s financial performance after five consecutive years of deficits.
Active in the community and public media industry, Martin is the Board President of the Ohio Educational Television Stations (OETS) and the Board Vice Chair of PBS. Additionally, he serves on boards of the Public Television Major Market Group, United Way of Greater Cleveland, Team NEO, Ohio & Erie Canalway Coalition and The Union Club.
Amy Shaw, President & CEO, Nine PBS
Amy Shaw became the President and CEO of the Nine PBS in February 2020. She is the first woman to lead Nine PBS in its 67-year history. Shaw is recognized as a national leader and innovator in community engagement and public media. She leads a talented team in groundbreaking work that leverages on-air, online and community engagement for measurable impact around important and complex issues in the St. Louis region.
Shaw led numerous national content initiatives that have created durable change in local communities, including Facing the Mortgage Crisis, public media’s response to the national financial crisis, and the national/local American Graduate initiative to rally communities to improve outcomes for youth. Shaw oversaw the creation of a Community Engagement Guidebook designed to help public media organizations deepen their commitment as relevant and essential community institutions.
Shaw was an inaugural Eisenhower Zhi-Xing Fellow in 2015, spending a month in China studying Chinese media and how communities address complex issues. She currently serves on the Public Television Major Market Group board, is chair of the FOCUS St. Louis board, chair of the Webster University School of Communications Advisory Board, and serves on the Grand Center, Inc. board. She is a member of the St. Louis Forum and is a graduate of the 2012-13 class of Leadership St. Louis. In 2021, Shaw was named by the St. Louis Business Journal as one of 25 Most Influential Business Women in the St. Louis region. Under her leadership, Nine PBS was recognized in 2020 by the Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis as one of the region’s best places to work for women.
Jayme Swain, President and CEO of VPM and the Virginia Foundation for Public Media
Jayme Swain is President and CEO of VPM and the Virginia Foundation for Public Media. At a transformational time in its history, Swain oversees VPM, a network of PBS and NPR stations across Central Virginia and the Shenandoah Valley that connects nearly 2 million people to insightful programming in arts and culture, history, science, news and education.
Under her leadership, VPM has strengthened its position as a trusted source of information for Virginians and a powerhouse distributor of multiplatform, award-winning content for national and international audiences.
Swain has launched a number of impact-driven initiatives, including the expansion of original educational programming with a focus on children in underserved communities and an increase in digital storytelling and distribution across the web, social media and podcasting.
As leader of the Virginia Foundation for Public Media, she manages the stewardship and advancement of an endowment to support VPM’s mission and vision, ensuring the future of public media in Virginia for generations to come.
Swain is a media executive with over 20 years of experience in broadcast, print and digital media. Prior to joining VPM in January 2019, Swain served as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Operations at PBS, where she was a trusted advisor to the CEO and COO, led strategic planning, managed organization-wide projects and developed solutions on behalf of the entire public broadcasting system.
Swain has developed multimedia content, consumer-focused digital products and social media strategies for top brands such as PBS, CNN, FOX Sports, U.S. News & World Report and Revolution Health.
Swain is active in the community and public media. She currently serves on the Board of the Richmond Performing Arts Alliance and as co-chair of the Organization for State Broadcasting Executives. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia.
Ed Ulman, President & CEO, Alaska Public Media
Ed Ulman is the President & CEO of Alaska Public Media (AKPM), Alaska's largest PBS, NPR and statewide news organization. Ulman joined AKPM in May 2016. Since his arrival, he has revitalized local television production, established AKPM as a CPB-PBS Ready To Learn station, redefined community engagement, and expanded statewide enterprise journalism efforts, while increasing TV, radio and digital audiences. In addition, membership (41 percent growth over four years), major giving and grant funding continue to rise. Recently, AKPM earned its first NATAS Regional Emmy, two NATAS Citations for Outstanding Community Outreach, multiple Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, and a National Edward R. Murrow Award for video journalism.
Ulman shifted community engagement activities by focusing on localizing PBS national content while also delivering Alaskan stories to national audiences. Examples include Indie Alaska—PBS Digital Studios, with over 3.8 million YouTube views, live action interstitials produced for the first season of MOLLY OF DENALI, and ENG packages aired on PBS NEWSHOUR. AKPM's reporters regularly contribute stories on various NPR programs and AKPM partnered with NPR to distribute "Midnight Oil," an eight-part podcast covering the 40-year history of the Alaskan Oil Pipeline, that garnered over 1 million downloads.
Ulman served as Development Director, Interim General Manager, and Executive Director/General Manager for KBTC Public Television in Tacoma, Washington from 2009-16. In 2013, PBS President Paula Kerger acknowledged KBTC's Ready To Learn partnership with the Tacoma Housing Authority in an interview on CNN, and again at the PBS Annual Meeting. With his Seattle counterpart at KCTS 9, Ulman received the Association of Public Television Stations 2015 National Advocacy Award. Ulman also served as Dean of Instruction for the Bates Technical College broadcast, audio, video production and digital media programs.
Ulman started as volunteer fundraising talent on KUAT-TV and KUAZ-FM in Tucson, Arizona, and then at New Mexico PBS in Albuquerque. As KNME’s Education and Outreach Manager, he led teams that earned a National Educational Television Association award for Take One Step: A Women's Health Initiative, and a PBS Development Award for KNME Science Central. Ulman has served on the PBS Teacher's Advisory Panel, the WGBH Teacher's Domain Implementation Advisory Committee and KCET's A Place of Our Own Station Advisory Committee.
Ulman currently serves as a Trustee for America’s Public Television Stations, is Chair of the Affinity Group Coalition and Small Station Association, and is a member of the PBS Development Advisory Council and PBS Interconnection Committee.
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s 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. Decades of research confirms that PBS’s premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Communications on Twitter.
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