APTS Presented Champion of Public Broadcasting Award to Senator Thad Cochran

WASHINGTON—April 5, 2011—The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) presented a Champion of Public Broadcasting Award to Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS). This award is given to Members of Congress and other individuals who have had a tremendous impact on the ability of local public broadcasting stations to meet the most critical needs of the communities they serve.

“Senator Cochran has been a steadfast supporter of public broadcasting since his father chaired Mississippi Public Television,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS. “The Senator has been especially supportive of public television’s education mission and its Ready To Learn program for pre-schoolers. As both Chairman and Vice-Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, he has been a powerful advocate for public television—in Mississippi and across America—and we are deeply honored to present him with our highest award.”

"I thank public broadcasting for the efforts and accomplishments they have made to strengthen education in our country," said Senator Cochran.  "They have enhanced learning and education for adults and kids."

Cochran was first elected to Congress in 1972 to represent the 4thDistrict of Mississippi, which includes 12 counties in southwest Mississippi. After winning re-election to the House in 1974, Cochran was elected by his colleagues to represent the southern states on the House Republican Policy Committee. In 1978, Cochran was elected to the United States Senate, becoming the first Republican in over 100 years to win a statewide election in Mississippi. He has since been re-elected five times and is currently serving his sixth term in office. Cochran was strongly influenced by his parents’ careers in education. During his time in Congress, Cochran has written legislation supporting education programs such as teacher training, vocational education, libraries and educational television. He served as a member of the National Education Goals Panel.

Senator Cochran’s own Mississippi Public Broadcasting (MPB) has played a pivotal role in the development of one of Ready To Learn’s most beloved programs, Between the Lions.

“Senator Cochran has always been one of Mississippi Public Broadcasting’s most fervent supporters,” said Jay Woods, acting executive director and chief operating officer of Mississippi Public Broadcasting.“He understands the value of public broadcasting in enriching lives and educating children. We are thankful for his consistent support and proud that one of public broadcasting’s strongest advocates is our own U.S. Senator.”

About APTS
The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization established in 1979. The mission of APTS is to conduct – in concert with member stations – advocacy, planning, research and communications activities in order to achieve strong and financially sound noncommercial television and advanced digital services for the American people. APTS provides consistent leadership and information that helps our members better accomplish their own missions and goals. APTS promotes the legislative and regulatory interests of noncommercial television stations at the national level through direct advocacy, and grasstops and grassroots campaigns designed to garner congressional support. For more information, visit www.apts.org.