Baum sets retirement from Virginia’s Blue Ridge PBS

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Baum (Photo: Blue Ridge PBS)

James Baum, who has led three public television stations, will retire Sunday as president of Blue Ridge PBS in Roanoke, Va.

Baum has been with the station since 2007. Earlier he worked as GM of KRSC in Claremore, Okla., and as president of WLVT in Bethlehem, Pa., and KETC in St. Louis.

He also served on several boards, including those of America’s Public Television Stations and the National Educational Telecommunications Association.

During his tenure, Blue Ridge PBS won several regional honors, including a local Emmy and APTS EDGE Award for its 2009 series JobQuest, which helped unemployed viewers in Southwest Virginia find work. Baum also steered the station through the FCC’s spectrum auction in 2017, earning $5.8 million by relinquishing two stations. More recently Blue Ridge PBS launched a unique streaming initiative drawing on the station’s archives.

Station Board Chair Marsha Combs said that Baum’s “extensive experience, knowledge and commitment to public television operations and our community will ensure a smooth transition for the station.” EVP William Anderson began serving as interim president June 12.

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