CONWAY, Ark. (Arkansas PBS) – Courtney Pledger, executive director and CEO of Arkansas PBS, has been elected to the PBS Board of Directors for a second three-year term as a professional director. Professional directors are station leaders from the public television system.
“The PBS Board of Directors is essential to our mission in public media: to educate, engage and inspire our audiences,” PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger said. “This exceptional group of people will bring a rich diversity of perspectives and experiences, and play a critical role in guiding our system forward.”
The 27-person Board includes both Professional Directors, who are station leaders, and General Directors, who serve as lay members of the Board, as well as the PBS President. The PBS Board of Directors is responsible for governing and setting policy for PBS. General and Professional Directors of the PBS Board are generally elected to three-year terms and serve without pay.
“I am honored to represent Arkansas PBS and all PBS member stations by continuing my service on the PBS Board of Directors,” Pledger said. “It is a distinct privilege to be able to help shape the future of public media in our country.”
Pledger joined Arkansas PBS in early 2017, bringing with her more than three decades of diverse experience in content creation and distribution, and media management.
Over the past five years, she has led the network to a focus on refreshed local connection and resonance, creative multiplatform storytelling and distribution, exponential growth in education impact, and consistent technological innovation. Pledger has expanded Arkansas PBS’s local relevance through groundbreaking efforts in K-12 teacher professional development, as well as curriculum-based content for K-5 students for distribution on multiple platforms and in classrooms across the state. Under her leadership, the organization launched online network AR-CAN (Arkansas Citizen’s Access Network) to build civic literacy and provide transparency in state government. Arkansas PBS Sports celebrates student athletes in their championship performances while also telling the personal stories of athletes and their communities on digital and broadcast. The network’s partnerships with independent filmmakers have led to a number of Arkansas and Southern stories being told nationally.
From 2012-2016, Pledger served as executive director of Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, where she reimagined the longest-running nonfiction festival in North America, gaining designation for the festival as an Oscar-qualifier in Documentary Short Subject and building a donor base to help sustain the festival into the future.
Pledger began her career at Hearst Entertainment, Rastar and the IndieProd Company and has held senior leadership roles at multiple film and television organizations including Universal’s Illumination Entertainment, Radical Pictures, UK-based Jigsaw Films/Miramax and Aardman Animations where she was a creative consultant.
Pledger has been the recipient of Women in Film's Lillian Gish Producing Award. Projects she has produced or shepherded have garnered multiple primetime and regional Emmy Awards.
On the PBS Board, Pledger serves as Chair of the Station Services Committee and the Working Group on Unserved Areas. She also serves on the Executive Committee, Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee, and Member Services Access Working Group.
In addition to serving on the PBS Board of Directors, Pledger is the current chair of the National Educational Television Association (NETA) and is past chair of the Organization of State Broadcasting Executives (OSBE). She serves on the board of American Public Television (APT). She is currently on the board of the Brent Renaud Foundation, a nonprofit organization with the primary mission of providing mentorship for aspiring filmmakers.
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’s premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a 24/7 channel, online at pbskids.org, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Communications on Twitter.
About Arkansas PBS
Arkansas PBS, Arkansas’s only statewide public media network, empowers learners of all ages by educating, informing, entertaining and inspiring communities. Arkansas PBS serves as a daily and essential resource for Arkansans by creating, sharing, celebrating and driving conversation around Arkansas stories and classic, trusted PBS programs through multiple digital platforms, including livestreaming at myarpbs.org/watch, on-demand services and YouTube TV, and the distinct channels Arkansas PBS, Arkansas PBS Create, Arkansas PBS KIDS, Arkansas PBS WORLD and Arkansas PBS AIRS on SAP. Members with Arkansas PBS Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. Arkansas PBS depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at myarkansaspbs.org. Arkansas PBS is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), KETZ (El Dorado), KETS (Lee Mountain), KETS (Forrest City) and KETS (Gaither).