ICQ 2003/1



PBS President Gives Campus Food for Thought

Pat Mitchell

Pat Mitchell, president and chief executive officer of the Public Broadcasting Service, met with students and faculty over three days as part of the Park Distinguished Visitors Series in the Roy H. Park School of Communications. Sharing her experiences as the first woman and first producer to serve as head of the nation's largest noncommercial broadcasting service, Mitchell held master classes and a public lecture entitled "Media Consolidation, Convergence, Connection: The Good, the Bad, and the Downright Dangerous."

She pointed out some things that students afterward said they'd had no idea about: for example, that local public television stations are the last locally owned media enterprises in the community, that there are only a handful of media conglomerates controlling the bulk of the news accessed by people in the United States, and that PBS programming receives more critical acclaim and wins more awards for journalistic excellence than any other broadcast entity. A former network correspondent, independent producer, and TimeWarner executive, Mitchell has held her position at PBS since March 2000 and now oversees the operations of a $1 billion national enterprise with 349 member stations. She has been named woman of the year by Women in Cable and Telecommunications and was selected by Forbes magazine as one of the "magnetic 40" corporate executives, by Electronic Media among its "12 to watch," and by the Hollywood Reporter as one of its top 40 women in entertainment.

During her campus stay she spoke in a number of classes, met informally with students and faculty, and taught master classes on global media, trust and the media, and individuals' options for media consumption.

Photo by Tom A. Mike

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A. Ozolins, Ithaca College Office of Publications, 25 April, 2003