Champion of Public Broadcasting Awards
APTS presented its 2016 Champion of Public Broadcasting Awards to Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA), Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). The Champion of Public Broadcasting Award is given to political leaders and other individuals who safeguard the ability of local public television stations to provide education, public safety and civic engagement services to their communities.
Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA)
“The Ready To Learn program has helped public television get millions of pre-school children ready to succeed in school and in life,” said APTS president and CEO Patrick Butler, “and no one did more than Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania to ensure the preservation of this program as Congress moved toward passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act in 2015. He authored an amendment to continue the program and won unanimous support for it in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee as it considered the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It’s particularly fitting that Senator Casey represents Pennsylvania, also the home of public television’s iconic Mister Rogers and his friend Daniel Tiger, who symbolize public television’s 40-year commitment to early childhood education and development.
“Thanks to Senator Casey, public television’s high-quality educational content will continue to be available to America’s youngest citizens, on the air, online and in mobile applications, and on the ground where parents, teachers and caregivers can help kids make the most of this marvelous content. It is our great honor to present the Champion of Public Broadcasting Award to Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, who has richly earned it.”
"I am grateful to be presented the Champion of Public Broadcasting Award," Senator Casey said. "As a leader, it is my job to serve, advocate and communicate on behalf of the people of my great state of Pennsylvania as well as continually educate myself on new and growing issues that my constituents may be facing. APTS gives me and other leaders an outlet to speak directly to those we represent to do just that. Working together, we were able to make progress in passing the Every Student Succeeds Act to help ensure that our most valuable resources, our children, are receiving the support and education they deserve.”
Please take a moment to read the press release on Senator Casey's Champion of Public Broadcasting Award.
Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK)
“Congressman Tom Cole, chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Education), oversees the House’s funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB),” said APTS president and CEO Patrick Butler. “Congressman Cole’s extraordinary leadership was instrumental in ensuring that the FY 2016 House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill included $445 million in level funding for CPB – the first time in five years the House has proposed anything but a zero for public broadcasting. In addition, Congressman Cole’s support for public broadcasting during the FY 2016 Omnibus Appropriations negotiations helped ensure the enactment of level funding for not only CPB but also the Ready To Learn education program that has proven its ability to close the achievement gap between children from low-income families and their more affluent peers. In addition, Chairman Cole helped ensure critical funding for the public broadcasting interconnection system that makes it possible for public television to serve everyone, everywhere, every day, for free, including the Native American nations of Oklahoma. Congressman Cole’s central role in safeguarding these highly cost-effective federal investments is a fine example of a superb lawmaker at work. It is our great honor to present the Champion of Public Broadcasting award to Congressman Tom Cole.”
“Throughout the years, millions of American families have felt the benefits of the diverse programs aired on public television," Congressman Cole said. "Many of us can recall gathering with our loved ones in front of the television for that favorite weekly program or catching one of public television’s outstanding documentaries. Indeed, public television has the ability to bring families closer together because it encourages them to learn together. I am honored to be recognized by the Association of Public Television Stations for my efforts to protect, strengthen and empower local public stations. In the days ahead, I look forward to helping them continue to serve, inform and edify communities in every city and state across the nation.”
Please take a moment to read the press release on Congressman Cole's Champion of Public Broadcasting Award.
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
“Senator Murkowski has been a steadfast supporter of public broadcasting, including her support of local public television and radio stations in Alaska,” said APTS president and CEO Patrick Butler. “As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, Senator Murkowski played a critical role in preserving public television’s Ready To Learn (RTL) program in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act – and preserving RTL’s $25.7 million annual appropriation. We are profoundly grateful for her support of public television’s education and public service mission, and for her recognition of the valuable services public broadcasting provides to the people of Alaska. We are honored to present a well-deserved Champion of Public Broadcasting Award to Senator Murkowski.”
"I have long been an advocate for public broadcasting, which is so important throughout Alaska, especially in the rural areas where it often serves as the only source of news and weather," Senator Murkowski said. "I also value the high-quality historical and informative programming that public broadcasting has brought to homes throughout Alaska and the nation for so many years. I am incredibly grateful to be honored with the Champion of Public Broadcasting Award."
Please take a moment to read the press release on Senator Murkowski's Champion of Public Broadcasting Award.
Pillar of Public Service Award
APTS presented the first-ever Pillar of Public Service Award to Malcolm Brett, Director of Broadcast and Media Innovations for Wisconsin Public Television. The Pillar of Public Service Award recognizes the contributions of an extraordinary leader in one of public television’s three pillars of public service: education, public safety and civic leadership.
Malcolm Brett, Wisconsin Public Television
“Malcolm Brett has provided innovative and exemplary services in the area of civic leadership, to both Wisconsin Public Television and our country as a whole,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS. “Malcolm’s remarkable leadership has resulted in several groundbreaking and novel initiatives about and for veterans, including honoring 30,000 veterans at an event which was the largest gathering of Vietnam veterans in the U.S., as well as a three-hour documentary, 'Wisconsin Vietnam War Stories,' which included never-before-heard stories by Vietnam War veterans. Malcolm’s commitment to civic leadership has helped citizens and communities understand the issues veterans face locally and regionally, and enabled them to develop solutions based on facts and rooted in community partnerships. No one is more deserving of this inaugural Pillar of Public Service Award than Malcolm Brett, and I’m honored to present it to him.”
“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of the collective and collaborative work of our TV and radio staff who have conceived, shaped and delivered programming for and about veterans for over a decade,” said Brett. "This body of work, and their convening of veterans, veteran support organizations and communities around Wisconsin has been a model for how an engaged public broadcaster can work with and for the community we serve. We are gratified by the number of stations around the country who have taken up this work. We feel privileged to contribute to the recognition and support of our veterans, and to contributing to dialogue around veterans’ issues in service to them and to the communities they return to.”
Please take a moment to read the press release on Malcolm's Pillar of Public Service Award.
David J. Brugger Lay Leadership Award
APTS presented the David J. Brugger Lay Leadership Award to the National Friends of Public Broadcasting for their outstanding work as lay leaders and advocates in the public broadcasting system. The APTS board of trustees created the David J. Brugger Lay Leadership Award in honor of its former president and CEO, David Brugger, the longest-serving leader of the Association.
National Friends of Public Broadcasting
For over 40 years, the National Friends of Public Broadcasting has been dedicated to fostering volunteerism at all levels in public media,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS. “Under the leadership of Chairperson Dorothy Pacella, National Friends has worked in partnership with Protect My Public Media, public television and radio’s grassroots advocacy campaign, to significantly engage local station volunteers across the country to grow grassroots supporters of public media. From volunteers’ presence at community fairs and festivals to advocating for public media funding in both the halls of Congress and at state Capitols, National Friends' efforts are unwavering and extraordinarily effective. We are extremely grateful for this work, and we are honored to present the David J. Brugger Lay Leadership Award to the National Friends of Public Broadcasting, who profoundly deserve it.”
“I am honored to accept this award on behalf of the National Friends of Public Broadcasting and the thousands of public media volunteers across the country,” said Pacella. “It was David Brugger who, while President of APTS in 1995, enlisted the support of National Friends to rally station volunteers when public media's federal funding was threatened to be zeroed out. These volunteers, who are our stations’ best grassroots advocates, conveyed public media’s story to our Representatives so effectively that public media’s federal funding was restored and faith in the vitality of our system’s services was renewed. I am proud to chair the National Friends of Public Broadcasting and work daily with these passionate volunteers who tirelessly act as our community advocates at home and on the Hill. I share this honor with them.”
Please take a moment to read the press release on National Friend's David J. Brugger Lay Leadership Award.
National Advocacy Awards
APTS presented the 2016 National Advocacy Award to Ronnie Agnew, Executive Director, Mississippi Public Broadcasting, and Jamie Waste, Executive Director, Alaska Public Broadcasting, for their exceptional efforts in furthering public television's legislative goals and marshalling grassroots support for public broadcasting.
Ronnie Agnew, Mississippi Public Broadcasting
"Ronnie Agnew is an extraordinarily effective advocate for Mississippi Public Broadcasting, and the entire public broadcasting system," said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS. "Ronnie's critical engagement has been instrumental with the Mississippi Congressional delegation, particularly with Senator Cochran, whose unwavering support of public television's education mission and its Ready To Learn program for preschoolers has helped ensure the federal investment in public broadcasting. In addition, Ronnie's efforts to highlight the need for funding for the public television interconnection system were critical to securing funding for that project. We are extremely grateful for Ronnie's work, and we are honored to present him with The National Advocacy Award, who profoundly deserves it."
"I am deeply honored to receive this award," Agnew said. "While I happily accept it, I feel compelled to say that there are many others who have worked hard to get us to this point. The continued funding for Ready To Learn will give many students in early children classrooms the tools to develop their skills. The interconnect system will ensure that our stations will have the latest in technology that will take them well into the future. I'd like to especially thank appropriations chairman Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Mississippi, for being such a supporter of public broadcasting. But more than anything, I'd like to thank the public broadcasting family who have worked tirelessly -- from making Hill visits, to organizing letter-writing and phone campaigns. They have selflessly given of themselves for the good of the system. The case we made to Congress on the importance of funding these important parts of public media was effective through the power of hard work and consistent messaging."
Please take a moment to read the press release on Ronnie's National Advocacy Award.
Jamie Waste, Alaska Public Broadcasting
"Jamie Waste is a tireless advocate for public broadcasting, helping to advance the ever-growing bipartisan support of public broadcasting in Congress," said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS. "Jamie has done an extraordinary job working with the Alaska Congressional delegation to ensure that public broadcasting's essential services to the people of Alaska continue to be funded and enhanced. Jamie's outreach over the last year was particularly important in ensuring Senator Murkowski's strong support for the reauthorization of Ready To Learn, public television's successful program for early learners,especially those from low-income families. We are honored to present Jamie with this most well-deserved National Advocacy Award."
"On behalf of Alaska, thank you for this award," said Waste. "The need for quality journalism, educational children's programming, civic engagement, and access to local media only increases in the digital age. Alaskans know this first hand. Their engagement as listeners, viewers, participants and advocates is reflected in supportive positions taken by our Congressional delegation members."
Please take a moment to read the press release on Jamie's National Advocacy Award.