The 2018 Public Media Summit Presentations

The APTS Public Media Summit is the largest annual gathering of public broadcasting general managers and community leaders who come together to explore issues that are vital to the future and mission of public service media. The 2018 Public Media Summit was held Monday, February 26, 2018 - Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at the Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown, 24th and M Streets NW, in Washington, D.C. Enjoy the videos of the Summit presentations below.


11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Lunch Session Ballroom

Welcome to the 2018 Public Media Summit
Remarks by Ronnie Agnew, Board Chair, APTS and APTS Action, Inc., and Executive Director, Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

Celebration of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood
Remarks by Paul Siefken, President and CEO of The Fred Rogers Company, as we paid tribute to the 50th anniversary of the national debut of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood on public television and previewed the March premiere of the anniversary special "Mister Rogers: It's You I Like."

President's Annual Address
Patrick Butler, President and CEO, APTS, gave his Annual Address.

1:30 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.
General Session Ballroom

APTS Action, Inc. Legislative and Political Consultants Panel (Closed to Press)
The APTS Action, Inc. legislative consultants spoke about the current political environment in Washington, D.C., the 2018 mid-term election and how federal funding for public media could be affected.

Moderated by Kate Riley, Vice President, Government and Public Affairs, APTS.

  • Jennifer LaTourette, Vice President, Van Scoyoc Associates
  • Danica Petroshius, Principal, Penn Hill Group
  • Domenic Ruscio, Partner, Cavarocchi Ruscio Dennis Associates

Watch the legislative and political consultants panel.

2:20 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
General Session – Ballroom

Presentation of the 2018 Champion of Public Broadcasting Award and remarks by Congressman Charles W. Dent (R-PA), Co-Chair of the center-right Tuesday Group - the "governing wing" of the Republican Party - and a senior member of the House Appropriations Committee, who shared his thoughts on the political environment on Capitol Hill and prospects for federal funding of public media.

Presentation of the 2018 David J. Brugger Lay Leadership Award
Patrick Butler, President and CEO, APTS and Loren Mayor, COO, NPR presented the award to Protect My Public Media, the grassroots network of supporters of public radio and television stations, who played a decisive role this year in saving federal funding for public media stations.

3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
General Session Ballroom

APTS Legislative Staff - Preparation for Hill Visits (Closed to Press)
The APTS legislative staff provided a dynamic presentation of the public television issues that are front and center in Washington, D.C. This session covered how to make the best case for public media funding in your congressional meetings and the important role our grassroots and grasstops advocacy tools play in our legislative success.

  • Kate Riley, Vice President, Government and Public Affairs, APTS
  • Cait Beroza, Advocacy & Social Media Manager, APTS
  • Will Glasscock, Legislative and Policy Consultant, APTS Action, Inc.
  • Jennifer Kieley, Director, Government Relations, APTS

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Dinner Session Ballroom

Sesame Workshop Early Childhood Education of Syrian Refugees
Steve Youngwood, Chief Operating Officer of Sesame Workshop, discussed the program that Sesame Workshop, in partnership with the International Rescue Committee, created for early childhood development in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan, to give young children in those war-torn countries the language, reading, math and socio-emotional skills they need to succeed in school and later in life - a program that recently received a $100 million MacArthur Foundation Grant. 

New Name, New Programs at NHK WORLD
Jay Campbell, President, CAV International, was our dinner host. Takaaki Takai, Deputy Director of NHK WORLD, spoke about an exciting change at NHK WORLD: a new logo and a new name - NHK WORLD-JAPAN. Taku Kato, Executive Director of Kurara: The Dazzling Life of Hokusai's Daughter previewed this new drama.



7:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Breakfast Session - Ballroom

Public Television's Impact on the National Conversation
Sharon Percy Rockefeller, President and CEO, WETA; Neal Shapiro, President and CEO, WNET; and Jon Abbott, President and CEO, WGBH, discussed their stations' impact on the national conversation and culture and their service to the public television system. Moderated by Patrick Butler, President and CEO, APTS.

9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
General Session Ballroom

APTS/APTS Action, Inc. Annual Membership Meetings
Ronnie Agnew, APTS and APTS Action, Inc. Board Chair, and Executive Director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting.

Presentation of the 2018 Pillar of Public Service Award
The award was presented to David Lowe, President and General Manager of KVIE, Sacramento, CA, for the station's critical work in piloting the use of datacasting to greatly reduce the timing of Early Earthquake Warnings to the public.

Public Television's Role in Disaster Warning and Recovery
Public television stations have created effective partnerships with local and State law enforcement, emergency management and first responder organizations to enable those agencies to communicate reliably with one another and with the public when crises arise. This panel discussed television-based public safety initiatives and the resilience of our system in the face of disasters. Moderated by Craig Fugate, former FEMA Administrator and Florida Emergency Management Director, and APTS At-Large Trustee.

  • Art Botterell, Senior Emergency Services Coordinator - Public Alert and Warning, California Governor's Office of Emergency Services
  • Red Grasso, Director of FirstNetNC
  • Fred Engel, Senior Director of Technology, UNC-TV
  • Tanya-Marie Singh, CEO, WTJX, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

Watch this session and view the PowerPoint slides on public television's role in disaster warning and recovery.

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
General Session – Ballroom

Presentation of the 2018 EDGE Award for Excellence in Innovation
The award was presented to Mark Richer, President of the Advanced Television Systems Committee, Inc. (ATSC), for the successful and timely completion of the ATSC 3 standard, and the integral role the Committee played in ensuring public television stations' repacking efforts are synched with the Next Generation broadcasting standard.

Next Gen Business and Technology Strategies
Next Gen TV promises significant new benefits for our stations and their communities. Join our panel in a discussion of technical preparation for ATSC 3, and strategic plans for enhanced services such as interactive kids programs, targeted audience programming, and data mining of audiences to better serve their interests and needs. Moderated by Eric Wolf, Vice President, Technology Strategy & Planning, PBS.

  • Dennis Wallace, Managing Partner, Meintel, Sgrignoli & Wallace, LLC
  • Susi Elkins, Director of Broadcasting and General Manager, WKAR
  • Ben Godley, Chief Operating Officer, WGBH, and President, WGBH Business Services

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Lunch Session Ballroom

Public Media and Lidia Celebrate Homegrown Heroes
Join Patricia de Stacy Harrison, President and CEO, Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and Lidia Bastianich to celebrate America's homegrown heroes. U.S. Navy Veteran Kelly Carlisle, U.S. Army Veteran Edgar Hercila and U.S. Marine Calvin Riggleman will share their stories of returning to civilian life connecting with local food and a new role in service to their communities.

2:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
General Manager Session Ballroom

Highlights of the Grant Center for Public Media
Emil Mara, Vice President, Finance, Administration and Membership, APTS, and Meegan White, Project Director, The Grant Center for Public Media, APTS.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Panel
Senior FCC officials report the latest on the post-spectrum auction repacking process and the new ATSC 3 broadcast standard and the media modernization proceeding. Moderated by Allan Pizzato, President and CEO, WYES, New Orleans, and Chair of the APTS Board Regulatory Committee.

  • Michelle Carey, Chief, Media Bureau
  • Jean Kiddoo, Chief, Incentive Auction Task Force
  • Hillary DeNigro, Deputy Chief, Incentive Auction Task Force
  • Charles Meisch, Senior Advisor - Communications and Policy, Incentive Auction Task Force

Watch this FCC panel and view the PowerPoint slides.

2:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Lay Leaders Session: A Powerful Force Kennedy Ballroom (Closed to Press)

Hear from a seasoned Washington expert, other lay leaders and APTS staff about the importance of lay leaders as ambassadors for public television. Learn some important tips on congressional meetings and the role of the lay leaders throughout the year. Presentation by Bob Stevenson, Principal, OB-C Group, and former Communications Director to the Senate Majority Leader. Moderated by Will Glasscock, Legislative and Policy Consultant, APTS Action, Inc.

6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Dinner Session Ballroom

Preparing Today’s Children for Tomorrow’s Challenges: PBS Stations’ Unique Role in School Readiness for Low-income Families
Since the launch of the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and live stream last year, time spent viewing PBS stations is up 85% among low-income families. Join us to celebrate the one-year birthday of this critical service and hear about how PBS stations are making a difference for undeserved children. Ralph Smith, managing director of the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, will reflect of the needs of low-income families, and the important role that can be played on the community level to help prepare children for success in school. Tim McKeon, co-creator and head writer of PBS KIDS' series ODD SQUAD, will share what sets PBS KIDS content apart in today's children's media landscape, with help from a special guest.

  • Paula Kerger, President & CEO, PBS
  • Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President & General Manager, Children’s Media & Education, PBS
  • Sara Schapiro, Vice President, PBS Education
  • Ralph Smith, Managing Director, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading
  • Tim McKeon, Co-Creator & Head Writer, ODD SQUAD
  • Anna Cathcart, Actor - "Agent Olympia," ODD SQUAD
Watch this PBS dinner session.



8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.
Breakfast Program Room LJ-119, Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress 

Opening remarks by Patrick Butler, President and CEO, APTS.

Remarks by Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Chair, Congressional Public Broadcasting Caucus.

Presentation of the 2018 Champion of Public Broadcasting Award to Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

Presentation of the 2018 National Advocacy Awards

Deborah Acklin, President and CEO, WQED Multimedia, Pittsburgh, PA, is honored for her excellent work building bipartisan support for public media funding and helping to prevent a vote to cut public media funding.

Lloyd Wright, President and CEO, WFYI Public Media, Indianapolis, IN, is cited for his outstanding commitment to making the case for public television with state and federal lawmakers and his innovative promotion of Protect My Public Media.