PBS President Paula Kerger Calls for More Women in Leadership Roles at Media Companies

TCA 2018: “It’s really important for media organizations to think about who are in the jobs,” public broadcasting exec tells reporters

Last Updated: July 30, 2018 @ 2:18 PM

PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger weighed in on the importance of having women in positions of power on Monday following the sexual harassment accusations against CBS boss Les Moonves.

“We always try to be reflective of the communities that we serve. This is something that we pay attention to quite carefully, both in front of and behind the camera,” Kerger told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour on Monday.

Kerger said that PBS has a long history of employing women both in front of and behind the camera, including “Nova” executive producer Paula Apsell, “Frontline” EP Raney Aronson-Rath and “PBS Newshour’s” Sara Just. She also pointed to Christiane Amanpour, who will host the late-nate public affairs program “Amanpour and Company” beginning in September.

“We are very mindful and purposeful about how we try to make sure that people can see themselves reflected in the work that we do,” Kerger said. “If you look at the history of public broadcasting … some of the people who have been true legend of public broadcasting [have been women].”

Amanpour’s show on PBS was announced earlier this year as the replacement for the long running talk show from Charlie Rose. The organization ended its long relationship with the veteran broadcaster last year after multiple women came forward to accuse him of unwanted sexual contact.

PBS also ceased airing a talk show from Tavis Smiley after a complaint and subsequent investigation found “multiple, credible allegations” of inappropriate behavior on the part of the host.

“I think it’s really important for media organizations to think about who are in the jobs, both in your producing relationships, as well as within the management core itself,” Kerger said. “I think that has created an atmosphere that has lots of different people and opinions at the table, which creates a much stronger organization if you’re able to tap into the great diversity of this country.”