Public Media Group of Southern California, the parent company of PBS SoCal and KCET, today announced the election of President and CEO Andrew Russell as chairperson of the Board of Trustees for America’s Public Television Stations (APTS).
The nonprofit membership organization ensures a strong and financially sound public television system and helps member stations provide essential public services in education, public safety, and civic leadership to the American people.
Also elected as new APTS board officers was Susi Elkins, director of broadcasting and general manager of WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, who has been elected professional vice chair.
David Steward II, immediate past board chair of Nine PBS in St. Louis, Missouri, was announced as elected lay vice chair. Russell and the other newly-elected officers will begin their terms on Monday, February 22, 2021.
Andrew Russell is a 25-year veteran of public broadcasting, having held senior executive leadership positions at PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Russell joined PBS SoCal as COO in 2013 and played a key role in building PBS SoCal as it grew into the role of flagship PBS station for Southern California.
Named CEO in 2015, Russell has driven rapid growth in the station’s membership and revenues, increased content distribution, and forged new partnerships with major Southern California arts and cultural institutions.
In 2018, PBS SoCal merged with KCET (and Link TV) to produce more original programs for seven Southern California broadcast channels, one national satellite channel and a dynamic library of programs that viewers love and trust available for streaming on any internet-connected screen. The new organization, the Public Media Group of Southern California, addresses the diverse community of the region and the changing demographic of the nation, as well as creates new community engagement experiences that educate, inform and inspire.
Russell assumed the role of President/CEO and has been responsible for the third-most-watched PBS station in the country as well as a continued commitment to community engagement, early childhood education and social impact services.
A California native, Russell holds an MBA from Stanford University, an MPA from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and is a graduate of the University of California, Davis. He serves on the Leadership Council for The Music Center, the Board of the Los Angeles City Club, and is a member of the CEO Roundtable at UC Irvine.
APTS is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in all forms to reflect the society that public television serves. Its affiliate APTS Action, Inc. promotes the legislative and regulatory interests of noncommercial television stations at the national level through direct advocacy and through grassroots campaigns designed to garner bipartisan political support.
The public television system is comprised of 158 licensees operating 356 public television stations across America and serving more than 97 percent of the American people. About half of these licensees are nonprofit community foundations.
The rest are state, university and local school district licensees. All are locally owned, locally operated and locally oriented in their programming and community services, and all share a mission of serving everyone, everywhere, every day for free – including in places where no model for commercial success exists.
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