January 24, 2011

PBS head Paula Kerger to speak at Leaders + Legends

Paula A. Kerger, president and chief executive officer of PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service, is the featured speaker at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School’s Leaders + Legends lecture series on Tuesday, Jan. 25. The event takes place from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Legg Mason Tower in Harbor East.

Her talk is titled “The Future of Public Broadcasting.”

PBS is the nation’s largest noncommercial media organization, with more than 350 member stations throughout the country. Since her arrival in 2006, 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 have resulted in a broad range of initiatives and national acclaim. Among the accomplishments during her tenure are Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan’s 2009 12-hour documentary, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, and the debut of such acclaimed children’s programs as The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! Dinosaur Train, Curious George (the No. 1 show for children ages 2 to 5 since 2006), Super Why! and Sid the Science Kid. Other initiatives include a new primetime science and arts series and two comprehensive online sites: PBS Parents, for parents and caregivers, and PBS Teachers, for educators.

In 2010, PBS programs were 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; two Academy Award nominations; 21 Parents’ Choice Awards; and 10 Kidscreen Awards.

In addition to leading PBS, Kerger is president of the PBS Foundation, an independent organization that raises private-sector funding for PBS.

For the past four years, The Hollywood Reporter has included 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, she received the Woman of Achievement Award from Women in Development, New York.

Before joining PBS, Kerger served for more than a decade at Educational Broadcasting Corp., the parent company of Thirteen/WNET and WLIW New York, where her ultimate position was executive vice president and chief operating officer. Her tenure boasts many achievements, including WNET’s completion in 1997 of the largest successful endowment campaign ever undertaken by a public television station.

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. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Baltimore, where she serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council of the university’s Merrick School of Business.

The Leaders + Legends monthly breakfast series, which features today’s most influential business and public policy leaders addressing topics of global interest and importance, is designed to engage business and community professionals in an examination of the most compelling issues and challenges facing society today.

Admission to the lecture, which includes breakfast, is $35. To register and for more information, go to carey.jhu.edu/leadersandlegends.