Kirby working to turn around PBS station KTXT in Lubbock, Texas

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Texas Tech’s KTXT/Channel 5 in Lubbock “has been the absolutely worst-managed television station in America for the past 50 years,” John Kirby tells the Lubbock Avalance-Journal in a story today (March 13). And he’s the station’s general manager. In fact, when he was considering the job, broadcasting buddies around the country warned him not to take it — some even saying, “Are you nuts?”

But last October Kirby left his spot at the helm of Eastern New Mexico University’s PBS station KENW and took over at Lubbock, determined to turn KTXT around. He’s made personnel changes, and is inserting local filmmakers’ work into the schedule. He had the station IDs and logo redesigned after he ran across a viewer who “never heard of” Channel 5 — but watched Frontline and other PBS programs on the station regularly.

“Guns up! I’m here for the long haul,” Kirby says. “This is my last job.”

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