television

PBS National Leader Paula Kerger
says PBS Hawaiʻi “gets it right”

 

CEO Message

 

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEO

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.” Paula Kerger, PBS National President and CEO

“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.”

Paula Kerger
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 with Honolulu event sponsor, Donna Tanoue and event co-host Dr. Mary Bitterman Getting together with Kalāheo High (Kailua, O‘ahu) students Hope Kanoa, Gabrielle Goodgame and Emily Casey; their HIKI NŌ teacher, Kathy Shimizu; and Wai‘anae High HIKI NŌ educator, John Allen

Kerger with Honolulu event sponsor
Donna Tanoue and event co-host
Dr. Mary Bitterman
Getting together with Kalāheo High (Kailua, Oʻahu)
students Hope Kanoa, Gabrielle Goodgame and
Emily Casey; their HIKI NŌ teacher, Kathy Shimizu;
and Waiʻanae High HIKI NŌ educator, John Allen

 

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.

Proud of two HIKI NŌ storytellers from Kaua‘i High who’ve achieved national distinction: PBS Digital All-Star Leah Aiwohi and student alumna Tiffany Sagucio, a PBS Gwen Ifill Fellow

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.”

 

Pictured right: 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

 

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.

 

Aloha nui,

Leslie signature

 

 

JULIA CHILD:
Best Bites

 

Celebrate the first lady of cooking with Martha Stewart, Jacques Pepin, Vivian Howard, Marcus Samuelsson, Jose Andres, Eric Ripert, Rick Bayless and more. Chefs and celebrities share personal insights as they screen Julia’s most-beloved episodes.

 

 

 

ART IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
Berlin

 

Olafur Eliasson considers the impact of art beyond the object in this preview of the upcoming Berlin episode from Season 9 of the Art in the Twenty-First Century television series. Featured artists include Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, Hiwa K and Susan Philipsz.

 

 

 

MISTER ROGERS:
IT’S YOU I LIKE

MISTER ROGERS: IT’S YOU I LIKE

 

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, the pioneering PBS series that premiered nationally 50 years ago, is an enduring landmark in the world of children’s television and beyond. Hosted by Michael Keaton, this commemorative special features Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Kratt, John Lithgow, Yo-Yo Ma and Esperanza Spalding, along with and neighbors “Handyman” Joe Negri and David “Mr. McFeely” Newell.

 

Preview

 

 

 

Aretha Franklin Remembered

 

Celebrate the legendary Queen of Soul and the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with her greatest hits from television appearances spanning the 1960s-2000s, many of which have never been seen in the U.S.

 

 

 

Carpenters:
Close to You

The Carpenters: Close to You

 

This music-filled documentary traces the Carpenters’ career through the eyes of Richard Carpenter and the group’s friends in the music business. It features their top hits, including “(They Long to Be) Close to You,” “Top of the World,” “For All We Know,” “Superstar,” “Yesterday Once More,” “Rainy Days and Mondays” and “We’ve Only Just Begun.”

 

 

 

After Data and Despair, What’s it Going to Take?

 

CEO Message

 

Leslie Wilcox, PBS Hawai‘i President and CEO

Live television is known for surprises – and we certainly experienced stunning moments during the very first of our What’s it Going to Take? forums.

 

What we learned is that key data – compiled by Hawai‘i Community Foundation in its CHANGE Framework and emblazoned across the PBS Hawaiʻi screen – struck a very deep chord in many viewers. They viscerally reacted, seeing that their longtime personal silent struggle with Hawaiʻi’s affordability had officially crossed the line into a state crisis.

 

As emotional calls jammed our phone bank during the live telecast, staff members heard crying, yelling and swearing. Never before, in our decades of live television programming, had we heard this level of sustained viewer pain and angst.

 

The statistics seemed to crystallize for many Hawai‘i residents that they just can’t count on things getting better, especially in the area of affordable housing.

 

One of the sobbing viewers, who works as an administrative assistant, said she had just realized that “I’ve been the frog in the pot for 30 years, trying to maintain my life, as the water heated up. Now the water’s boiling and nobody in charge did anything for us frogs.”

 

Besides the stark data, that first live What’s it Going to Take? forum featured a remarkable gathering of top Hawai‘i business leaders from the Hawai‘i Executive Conference. Chair and business magnate Duane Kurisu brought them together to outline what execs have committed to do – step in, analyze and attack entrenched, complex issues. They plan to work collaboratively with government, unions and communities.

 

“…If we work side by
side, we’ll find a lot of our
answers a lot easier.”

Jack Wong
CEO, Kamehameha Schools

 

Left riser, from left: Colbert Matsumoto, Chairman, Tradewind Capital Group; Leslie Wilcox; Robert Nobriga, President, Island Holdings; Bob Harrison, Chairman and CEO, First Hawaiian Bank Center riser, from left: Micah Kāne, CEO and President, Hawai‘i Community Foundation; Duane Kurisu, aio Founder, Hawai‘i Executive Conference Chairman; Catherine Ngo, President and CEO, Central Pacific Bank; Jack Wong, CEO, Kamehameha Schools Right riser, from left: Ann Botticelli, Senior Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs, Hawaiian Airlines; Rich Wacker, President and CEO, American Savings Bank; Elliott Mills, Vice President and General Manager, Aulani, Disney Resort and Spa

Left riser, from left:
Colbert Matsumoto, Chairman,
Tradewind Capital Group; Leslie
Wilcox; Robert Nobriga, President,
Island Holdings; Bob Harrison,
Chairman and CEO, First Hawaiian
Bank

Center riser, from left:
Micah Kāne, CEO and President,
Hawai‘i Community Foundation;
Duane Kurisu, aio Founder, Hawai‘i
Executive Conference Chairman;
Catherine Ngo, President and CEO,
Central Pacific Bank; Jack Wong,
CEO, Kamehameha Schools

Right riser, from left:
Ann Botticelli, Senior Vice President,
Communications and Public Affairs,
Hawaiian Airlines; Rich Wacker,
President and CEO, American Savings
Bank; Elliott Mills, Vice President and
General Manager, Aulani, Disney
Resort and Spa

 

I’m impressed that these executives appeared before the live cameras for two hours without the safety of scripts, canned speeches or handy public relations officers. In past years, this initiative of resolve from leaders with resources and influence might have been a rallying cry.

 

But seeing those deteriorating quality-of-life numbers had catalyzed residents’ already growing feelings of despair.

 

Callers weren’t much interested in talk about future relief. They asked urgently for bold measures NOW. This as the CEOs, familiar in business with complex issues and long-term planning, were training their efforts on serious, messy problems and medium and long-term solutions – not “band-aid fixes.”

 

It was a disconnect.

 

I believe that over the course of the forum, struggling citizens and earnest senior executives reached across the gulf that separated them and were hearing each other.

 

“I got a little hot under the collar but now I want to thank the business leaders for stepping up. Nobody’s making them do it,” a caller from West Oʻahu said.

 

“We are not okay with the status quo,” said Jack Wong, CEO of the Kamehameha Schools. “…If we work side by side, we’ll find a lot of our answers a lot easier.”

 

Said Micah Kāne, who heads the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation: “There needs to be a civic movement around this.”

 

This executive forum is available online on demand at www.pbshawaii.org/wigttforum

 

The quality of life data is available at www.changeforhawaii.org

 

So far, we’ve held the exec forum and three community-based forums. Our What’s it Going to Take? discussions continue next year, seeking needed change.

Leslie signature

 

 

 

ALL THINGS BAKELITE
The Age of Plastic

 

All Things Bakelite: The Age of Plastic is a joyous and provocative one-hour documentary that captures both the wonder and the curse of chemist Leo Hendrik Baekeland’s biggest invention – the first wholly synthetic plastic. One of the greatest stories of science never told comes alive using re-enactments; rare archival footage and personal diaries; interviews with scientists, historians, and artists; and a highly entertaining original score. Its lively pace and quirky style appeals to anyone interested in the human drama that underlies history, science, business, and design. The film’s 2019 release on public television stations coincides with the 110th anniversary year of the Bakelite patent.

 

ALL THINGS BAKELITE: The Age of Plastic

 

 

 

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