One of the most powerful and respected women in modern-day America is Paula Kerger. Since 2006, she has served as the president and CEO of PBS. PBS is the nation’s biggest public media network, and it boasts over 350 member stations across the country. Plus, it has only grown bigger since Kerger began working here. The quality of the content offered by PBS has also drastically improved since Kerger became CEO and president.
They have been able to meet their goals to “educate, inspire, and entertain” American citizens much more efficiently and consistently under this new leadership. But who is Paula Kerger? She is more than a faceless network executive — though her business prowess is considerable. She also has a depth of character that is best seen when you examine her accomplishments. If you want to learn a little more about the CEO, read on to find out about Five Things You Didn’t Know about Paula Kerger.
She Brought PBS From 15th to 6th
When Paula Kerger started at PBS, they were the 15th-most-watched network in the United States. Through hard work, perseverance, and savvy business moves Kerger brought PBS to the 6th-most-watched network. Today, about 80% of all households in the States tune in to PBS at least once per year. Plus, millions of Americans view videos on PBS’ web and mobile systems. Her significant success at increasing the audience of PBS even led her to win the Multichannel News Brand Builder Award.
PBS Won 25 Awards Under Her Leadership
In just a single year, PBS brought home four Peabody Awards, seven Daytime Emmy Awards, two Alfred I. duPont Awards from Columbia University, and 12 News and Documentary Emmy Awards. This is a testament to the superior content offered on Kerger’s PBS. Plus, this amount of awards was higher than those won by any other organization in 2017.
She Cares About Education
Under Kerger’s leadership, PBS launched the KIDS 24/7 broadcast channel. This will ensure that children can access educational programming regardless of the time or place that they access it. She also contributed to the development of PBS LearningMedia. This is a program that helps teachers get access to high quality digital content to make more engaging, educational, and interesting lessons. Her work toward improving education worldwide helped her to receive the National Education Association’s Friend of Education Award.
She Receives a Lot of Personal Recognition
With a career like Kerger’s, it is no surprise that she is often included on lists and nominated for awards. For example, she is often a part of Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Power 100. This list is created annually, and consists of the nation’s top female executives. She is also included in The Washingtonian’s Most Powerful Women in Washington with some frequency. She has won several awards for her own personal achievements as well (e.g., Advancing American Democracy Award from the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site).
She Has Academic Prowess
Kerger received her first degree from the University of Baltimore, where she now serves on an advisory council for the Merrick School of Business. She has also received several honorary degrees from various institutions. Two of her most academically impressive positions that she holds are Director of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, as well as the Chair of the Board of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. It takes smarts and dedication to get these kinds of jobs — something that Kerger clearly doesn’t lack.