Washington Week

Friday Nights on PBS

Robert Costa's Notebook: Reflecting on the PBS Annual Meeting

By Robert Costa

Engaging with PBS is a special experience.

You’re not just clicking on a channel; you’re entering a particular world that is driven by values of integrity and trust — and welcomes everyone.

That core mission is why so many people love PBS. And it’s why I love attending the PBS Annual Meeting, which was held in Nashville this week. It’s like a PBS family reunion, where you’ll run into Judy Woodruff and Daniel Tiger in the halls. 

While I enjoyed my walk down Broadway, where live music spills out of every bar, and had some stellar barbecue, I most appreciated my conversations with PBS leaders from around the nation who work hard every day to inform and enlighten, often without any fanfare and limited resources.

Their sincere support for “Washington Week” has been absolutely critical to our success in recent years as our team at WETA has labored to bolster the show and protect its legacy. It was humbling and moving to hear from them about how they value the perspectives of our reporters, every Friday night.

I’m looking forward to connecting more with local stations in the months to come as “Washington Week” covers the Trump presidency and the 2020 election.

We want to work with PBS stations to bring voices from outside Washington to “Washington Week.” The more PBS teams can work together, the better.

I also want to thank my friend and a regular at our table, NPR congressional correspondent Susan Davis. She made the trip to Nashville to join me on stage and have a conversation about politics and policy.

She’s a first-class reporter and person who embodies the best of that public media spirit.

From L-R: Bill Gardner, VP, Programming and Development, PBS, Donald A. Baer, Chairman of the PBS Board of Directors, Robert Costa, Bill Margol, Sr. Director of Programming & Development, PBS

To my friends old and new in the PBS ranks, I hope you, too, walked away invigorated.

Let’s always remember the mission -- and always enjoy the ride.