PBS National Leader Paula Kerger
says PBS Hawaiʻi “gets it right”
PBS National President and CEO Paula Kerger arrived from Washington DC on a windy, drizzly afternoon, and she departed days later, with word of the passing of retired PBS NewsHour anchor Jim Lehrer.
In between, the Hawaiian sun shone and so did Kerger’s smile, as she reached out to meet and listen to Islanders and to see firsthand the work at PBS Hawaiʻi.
She is that leader you want to see representing the Public Broadcasting Service – observant, intuitive, open. She does her homework. She’s friendly in an authentic way. And she is a smooth veteran at pushing back as warranted.
“This is truly, I would say,
the most exceptional (public
television) station in our
country. It gets it right.
It understands what it
means to be part of the
fabric of this community.”
PBS National President and CEO
It’s no wonder that Kerger is admired among the 330 public television stations across the country. Over the last 15 years, she has gamely navigated the system through waves of profound change – the largest being the revolutionary technology that has expanded PBS programming to online platforms. It’s a period that has seen a commercial explosion of programming on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc.
Oh, and we can’t forget that much of the public Kerger serves has become deeply polarized and can’t agree on what’s fact and what’s not.
Kerger, once COO of the flagship New York public television station WNET, told our supporters she’d wanted for some time to visit PBS Hawaiʻi, especially as young HIKI NŌ students won more and more national awards, using PBS journalism standards. She waited, because we were working through our own transitions, including the need to relocate and build a new facility.
In a conversation with PBS Hawaiʻi supporters, Kerger said she has traveled widely throughout the nation. Then she stunned us with: “This is now my 50th state. This is truly, I would say, the most exceptional (public television) station in our country. It gets it right. It understands what it means to be part of the fabric of this community.”
If you’d like to find out more about this national public media leader, you’re invited to join us at the table, so to speak, on Long Story Short with Leslie Wilcox on Tuesday, March 24, at 7:30 pm, broadcast and streaming.
Proud of two HIKI NŌ storytellers from Kauaʻi High who’ve achieved national distinction: PBS Digital All-Star Leah Aiwohi and student alumna Tiffany Sagucio, a PBS Gwen Ifill Fellow