Longtime public broadcaster Dennis Haarsager, who led NPR in an interim capacity prior to President Vivian Schiller’s arrival, is the new executive director of the Public Television Major Market Group, an influential consortium of pubTV stations from the nation’s 30 largest broadcast markets. He replaces Bill Kobin, the group’s executive director for the last 14 years.
Haarsager retired in 2010 from NPR as its senior v.p. of system resources and technology. He previously spent three decades in Pullman, Wash., as associate v.p. and g.m. for Washington State University’s Educational and Public Media, which includes Northwest Public Radio and pubTV stations KWSU and KTNW. He held management positions with Idaho Public Broadcasting and South Dakota Public Broadcasting, where he began his pubcasting career as a broadcast technician in 1969.
Over the the past 30 years, Haarsager has been deeply involved in the system. He has served on 15 boards affiliated with public broadcasting, including the Small Station Association, the Association of Public Television Stations, PBS, American Public Television and the Station Resource Group. He has consulted for CPB, and numerous stations from Alaska to Florida.
In September 2010 he won the Association of Public Radio Engineers Technology Visionary Award, and in 2008 the Integrated Media Association presented him with a Golden Mouse, for vision and leadership in the challenges of new media for public broadcasting.
Haarsager also writes a popular blog, Technology360.