Pacific Mountain Network shuts down, gives final funds to APTS

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The Pacific Mountain Network, once one of four regional public television organizations, is shutting down and transferring its remaining funds to America’s Public Television Stations.

APTS will use the $700,000 to create the Bornstein-Pacific Mountain Network Fund for Strategic Communications to “enhance public television’s ability to communicate its value to the public, strategic partners and major funders,” according to APTS.

“This is a transformative event in the history of both our organizations,” said APTS President Pat Butler in the announcement.

Ron Bornstein, PMN’s longtime executive director, will retire. Bornstein’s career includes serving as acting president of NPR in 1983, GM of Wisconsin Public Radio for 16 years and CPB’s VP for telecommunications.

PMN was chartered in 1978 for stations in the Rocky Mountain and Pacific states and provided member resources including interconnection services. In 1997 it shifted programming and training operations to the National Educational Telecommunications Association and became a nonprofit educational foundation. The network administered an annual enhancement grant program to support innovative media projects at member stations.

PMN Executive Council Chair Kurt Mische, president of KNPB-TV in Reno, Nev., said that when Bornstein announced his intention to retire, “it prompted our membership to assess what PMN should be going forward.”

“While the organization gave voice to stations in the Pacific Intermountain West and provided some modest production grants each year,” Mische said, “we felt there was more that could be accomplished with our funds.”

Mische added that the board is “very pleased to partner with APTS and to honor Ron’s significant contributions to our industry in this way.”

Butler said the support “will enable us to tell public television’s story of public service more comprehensively and compellingly than it’s ever been told before, and this investment comes at a particularly propitious time when our public funding is under challenge.”

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