Jones steps aside as PBS COO; Kerger announces additional executive hires

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Michael Jones has lead daily operations of PBS since January 2009. (Photo: PBS)

Michael Jones led daily operations of PBS since January 2009. (Photo: PBS)

Michael Jones, PBS’s chief operating officer since January 2009, is moving into an advisory role as executive vice president.

In a Sept. 9 memo detailing several changes within PBS’s top ranks, President Paula Kerger announced that Jones will continue to report to her, serving “as a chief adviser working closely with me on a series of critical projects.” Those include management of an upgrade to public TV’s interconnection system and issues related to the upcoming television spectrum auction.

PBS is currently conducting a national search for a new COO, Kerger said.

It’s unclear how PBS has adapted its reporting structure for its senior executives during the search. A 2011 organizational chart shows nine senior v.p.-level positions reporting to Jones as COO. PBS spokesperson Anne Bentley declined to provide an update.

The memo, distributed to station GMs, announced several v.p.-level hires that “more closely align our organizational structure” with priorities in PBS’s fiscal 2015 operating budget and strategic plan.



Steve McGowan, who has been consulting with PBS for a year, is now vice president, research. He will work across several departments on audience metrics and analysis, and collaborate with national media organizations on managing that data. McGowan reports to Jayme Swain, s.v.p., strategy and operations.

Toby Chaudhuri joins the PBS station relations staff, reporting to his former colleague in the Obama Administration, Juan Sepulveda, s.v.p. Chauduri signs on as as v.p., strategic communications and national partnerships, a job that focuses on community engagement and leadership development. Previously, Chaudhuri advised the Obama Administration on race-based initiatives. During the president’s first term, he handled communications for the White House initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, which Sepulveda directed.



The new v.p., sponsorship sales support, in the development department is Ann Brown, a former senior executive at Time Warner Cable. Brown focuses on corporate support for national content, working with producers and stations sponsorship teams. She reports to Betsy Gerdeman, development s.v.p., and divides her time between PBS headquarters and New York City.

And on the digital side, Tom Davidson is heading up station products and innovation as senior director for station outreach. Among his responsibilities is overseeing roll-out of the Membership Video on Demand initiative, which use PBS’s expansive library of content to help stations boost membership and generate revenue.

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