Job description: watch your step, make magic

PBS’s chief program executive is a high-profile job that comes with a salary cap, a heavy workload and no excess of resources. But for seven months the c.p.e. has been a high-profile vacancy; the network is still seeking a permanent successor for Jennifer Lawson, who left the job in March with her deputy John Grant. Though many station programmers are pleased with the performance of the interim proprietors of the National Program Service, mainly former No. 3 programmer Kathy Quattrone, they eagerly await word that a new program impresario has been hired. So much about the future of public TV depends upon the distinctiveness, noncommercial values and viability of the NPS, and the c.p.e. is largely responsible for safeguarding those assets.