School of Communication and Media, NJTV Host Talk by PBS President, CEO Paula Kerger on March 19

As part of her day-long visit to Montclair State University, Kerger to present students an insider’s view on today's media

The School of Communication and Media and NJTV (New Jersey’s public television network) are cohosting a candid talk on today's media by Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS, on March 19 at 7:30 p.m. in the Jed Leshowitz Recital Hall.

PBS is the nation’s largest non-commercial media organization with more than 350 member stations throughout the country. Kerger joined PBS as its sixth CEO in March 2006, and has since made particularly strong commitments to the arts, news and public affairs, high-quality content for education, diversity and the use of new technology to bring public media into the lives of all Americans.

Joining Kerger for this frank look at today’s media will be Merrill Brown, SCM director.

“We are extremely honored to welcome Paula to Montclair State University, as she has been a champion to the promotion of media and the arts for many years now,” said Brown. “Her work and those of public television producers throughout the country continue to inspire the community and I am excited to have the opportunity to sit down with her and talk about the state of the media and the arts.”

“Paula is at the forefront of the media industry, not just public media,” said John Servidio, general manager of NJTV, which operates its news program, NJ Today with Mike Schneider, from the Montclair State University campus. “She has innovated public television to assure it remains competitive in today's marketplace while protecting its inherent mission to engage and educate. She has much to share with the students and public when she visits.”

The discussion is just one of the many activities planned for Kerger during a day-long visit to Montclair State University. Earlier in the day, she will be touring the campus and engaging University students as a Colloquium Series guest speaker. Prior to the discussion event, she will be welcomed by officials from the University, NJTV and its operator WNET during a VIP cocktail reception.

Under Kerger’s leadership, PBS has grown among genres and platforms, including airing the pop-culture phenomenon Downton Abbey, Ken Burns’s 2012 documentary, The Dust Bowl and acclaimed children’s programs The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That and Curious George. She has helped PBS develop critically-praised online video portals for general audiences and children. Her development of innovative digital partnerships with companies such as iTunes, YouTube, Microsoft’s Xbox, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and Comcast’s On Demand ensure that PBS programming is accessible across multiple platforms and, increasingly, to a global audience.

Kerger is the recipient of numerous acclaim and awards, regularly mentioned in the Hollywood Reporter’s “Women in Entertainment Power 100,” joining the Women’s Forum in 2005, an organization of 300 leading women in New York’s arts and business community, receiving the Woman of Achievement Award in 2008 from Women in Development, and honored with the 2012 Brand Builder Award from Promax/BDA, B&C and Multichannel News.

The event is free and open to the public. Space is limited, so RSVPs are requested by March 12. To RSVP, e-mail or call Shawn Lockwood at (973) 655-3601.