APTS Presents Senator John D. Rockefeller IV With Champion of Public Broadcasting Award

WASHINGTON — February ­25, 2014 — The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) today presented its Champion of Public Broadcasting Award to Senator John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV).

The Champion of Public Broadcasting Award is given to Members of Congress and other individuals who safeguard the ability of local public television stations to provide educational, public safety and civic engagement services to their communities.

“Senator Rockefeller has been a steadfast supporter of public broadcasting during his distinguished tenure in the Senate and particularly as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over public broadcasting issues,” said Patrick Butler, president and CEO of APTS. “Most recently, Senator Rockefeller’s support was essential to ensuring local stations’ high definition carriage through the satellite reauthorization law and for protecting broadcasters’ rights in the spectrum incentive auction law passed last year. We are deeply grateful for Senator Rockefeller’s support of the public broadcasting industry, and his thoughtful and principled leadership will be missed greatly in the U.S. Senate. It is an honor to present the Champion of Public Broadcasting Award to Senator Rockefeller.”

“For over 40 years, public television stations have educated and enlightened America,” said Senator Rockefeller. “When parents turn on their local station, there’s no question their children are being exposed to educational content that teaches the ABCs, and lifelong values such as compassion, tolerance and community. Every station also provides households everywhere access to trusted news and quality programming. I am deeply honored to receive this award, from an organization that has been such an important part of both my life, as well as Sharon's, and shares our deep commitment to public service.”

Senator Rockefeller has served the people of West Virginia for nearly 50 years. He first came to West Virginia in 1964 as a 27-year-old VISTA volunteer serving in the small mining community of Emmons. Many of the lessons that Senator Rockefeller learned in Emmons have shaped his public service career and led to his life-long commitment to improving the lives of West Virginians and all Americans.

Senator Rockefeller is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. He is also the chairman of the Finance Committee’s Health Care Subcommittee and a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Senator Rockefeller also serves on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

Senator Rockefeller graduated from Harvard University in 1961 with a B.A. in Far Eastern Languages and History. In 1966, he was elected to the West Virginia House of Delegates and to the office of West Virginia Secretary of State in 1968. He served as president of West Virginia Wesleyan College from 1973 to 1976. In 1976, Rockefeller was elected Governor of West Virginia, and was re-elected in 1980. In 1984, he was elected to the United States Senate, and re-elected in 1990, 1996, 2002 and 2008.

The Champion of Public Broadcasting Award was presented to Senator Rockefeller during The APTS Public Media Summit on Tuesday, February 25. Please take a moment to watch the presentation.

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, communications and other activities that foster a strong and financially sound public television system providing essential public services to all Americans. Its affiliate APTS Action, Inc. promotes the legislative and regulatory interests of noncommercial television stations at the national level through direct advocacy and through grasstops and grassroots campaigns designed to garner bipartisan congressional support. For more information, visit www.apts.org.