KPBS’s Deanna Mackey to lead public TV’s Major Market Group

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The Major Market Group, an organization of 38 PBS member stations in the largest U.S. television markets, announced today its first full-time executive director: Deanna Mackey, station manager and c.o.o. of dual licensee KPBS in San Diego.

She will succeed Dennis Haarsager, who will retire June 30. Haarsager has served as executive director in a part-time consulting role since February 2011.



Mackey “has deep operational experience and a track record of success at one of the best stations in the country,” said Rick Schneider, chair of the MMG Board and c.o.o. of WETA in Arlington, Va., in the announcement. “She is well-respected in the system, and we think she will become a true leader at the national level.”

Mackey has worked at KPBS since 1990 in editorial, communications and digital positions. She was named associate general manager in 1998 and station manager in 2009.

She serves on the PBS Digital Media Advisory Committee and has chaired the Integrated Media Association. Recently she co-founded the Public Media Women in Leadership Group, a mentorship program to address issues of gender inequality in the executive ranks of public television and radio.

Mackey takes the helm at the MMG in August. The MMG is part of the larger Affinity Group Coalition (AGC), which serves as a forum for addressing system-wide issues of interest to public television stations.

Schneider told Current that a full-time director “will be able to devote time and resources to project management as well as national leadership.”

“The MMG has been engaged in a number of major projects that benefit not only MMG stations but the system as a whole,” Schneider said. “The group has aspirations to do more to proactively and positively shape the agenda for the national public television system.”

In Wednesday’s announcement, Mackey said she sees her appointment as “an exciting opportunity to help the system, via the MMG, to pursue best practices, collaboration and sustainability. I have been impressed with the activities of the MMG in recent years and I am looking forward to working with its members to continue to grow public media’s impact and influence.”

The MMG recently backed initiatives including station programming co-ops and PBS’s upcoming membership video-on-demand service.

Mackey was selected after a nationwide search by Judy Weaver, Ron Bornstein and Eric Smith of NETA Consulting.

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