Topic:America’s Largest Classroom: PBS and the Future of Educational Media
Location: Ballroom, Nittany Lion Inn
Introduction / Moderator: Eric Barron / Patty Satalia
Paula A. Kerger is president and chief executive officer of PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service, the nation’s largest non-commercial media organization with nearly 360 member stations throughout the country.
Since her arrival in 2006, Ms. Kerger’s commitments to the arts, news and public affairs, high-quality content for children’s education, diversity, and the use of new technology to bring public service media into the lives of all Americans has resulted in a broad range of initiatives and national acclaim. Among the accomplishments during her tenure are Ken Burns’s and Dayton Duncan’s 2009 12-hour documentary, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”; the debut of such acclaimed children’s programs as “The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!,” “Dinosaur Train,” “Curious George” (the number one show for children ages 2-5 since 2006), “Super Why!” and “Sid the Science Kid”; new primetime science and arts series; and comprehensive online sites for parents and caregivers — PBS Parents – as well as for educators — PBS Teachers.
In 2010, PBS programs have been honored with 30 Emmys, including 15 Daytime Emmys, more than any other broadcast or cable network; six Peabody awards; three Writers Guild of America awards; three Golden Globe nominations and two Academy Award nominations. Also in 2010, PBS received 21 Parents’ Choice Awards and 10 Kidscreen Awards.
PBS’s critically praised online video portal, apps for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch, and innovative digital partnerships with such companies as iTunes, YouTube, Microsoft’s Xbox, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Comcast’s On Demand service ensure that PBS programming is accessible across multiple platforms and, increasingly, to a global audience.
In addition to leading PBS, Ms. Kerger is president of the PBS Foundation, an independent organization that raises private-sector funding for PBS. For the past four years, the Hollywood Reporterhas included Ms. Kerger in the “Women in Entertainment Power 100,” an annual survey of the nation’s top women executives in media. In 2005, she was named to the Women’s Forum, an organization of 300 leading women in New York’s arts and business scenes. In 2008, Ms. Kerger received the Woman of Achievement Award from Women in Development, New York.
Prior to joining PBS, Ms. Kerger served for more than a decade at Educational Broadcasting Corporation (EBC), the parent company of Thirteen/WNET and WLIW New York, where her ultimate position was executive vice president and COO. Her tenure boasts many achievements, including WNET’s completion in 1997 of the largest successful endowment campaign ever undertaken by a public television station.
Ms. Kerger is a director of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and serves on the board of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History and on the Dean’s Advisory Council of the University of Baltimore’s Merrick School of Business. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Baltimore. Ms. Kerger and her husband Joseph Kerger live in Washington, DC. Ms. Kerger serves on the PBS Executive, Nominating and Corporate Governance and Finance committees, the Diversity Task Force, and National Policy Advisory Committee.