Paula Kerger, public TV exec, named head of PBS

Monday, January 23rd 2006, 11:01 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ Paula A. Kerger, a top executive with New York City's local public TV, has been chosen as the new boss of Public Broadcasting Service, the network announced Monday.

In her new role as president and chief executive officer, Kerger will direct the operations of PBS, made up of 348 member stations. She starts work March 13, succeeding Pat Mitchell, who last year announced plans to step down after taking over in 2000.

``Now more than ever, Americans need a strong public television system,'' Kerger, who becomes PBS' sixth president and CEO, said in a statement. ``I am committed to doing all I can to ensure that they have it.''

``Paula is an irrepressible champion of public television _ proud of its mission and confident of its future,'' Mary Bitterman, chairman of the PBS board of directors, said in a statement.

Since 2004, Kerger has been executive vice president and chief operating officer of Educational Broadcasting Corp., licensee of Thirteen/WNET and WLIW New York, two of the nation's largest public television stations. She joined EBC in 1993. Before that, she held management positions at the Metropolitan Opera and the U.S. Committee for UNICEF.

Kerger's selection was unanimously confirmed by the PBS board Sunday.