6 thoughts on “Michael Soper, fundraising consultant who led PBS development in its formative years, dies at 71

  1. Mike was a mentor to many of us. He provided invaluable counsel at a difficult time in my career, leading me to move to New England to lead WGBY in Springfield. Without his intervention, I might have left public broadcasting. Through his example, I tried to provide the same sounding board to others in the field. Everyone who knew him is in his debt and will miss him.

    • Michael was an energizing muse to many of us in the system. A strong advocate of recognizing complex and innovative Development achievements from all stations. That desire led to the expansion of the annual PBS Development Awards which Michael – in his unique style – wrapped around memorable events like the Development Olympics, Country Fair, the Red Carpet Oscars and more. Remember him sharing one goal – not enough people get a Pat on the back for a job well done which the annual awards will do – and they’ll serve as inspiration for the rest of us. Michael made a huge difference to many of us and our industry.

  2. Mike was the consummate cheerleader for development professionals. He worked tirelessly to advance best practices and to shine a light on the hardworking people who brought in the money that kept public television in the forefront of quality tv. His enthusiasm was infectious and It was an honor to work with and learn from him.

  3. Mike was a role model to us in the 1980s on the PBS Public Information Advisory Committee — key partners to the DAC. As much as the meetings were about exchanging ideas, they were also about learning from Mike, Dan Agan, Nancy Neubauer, and some of the other marketing giants, who put a lot of thought into what worked and what could work, and saw PBS as a true partner to stations like ours in Detroit. I’m grateful that Mike continued to make himself available for consults even after he left PBS, and for what he taught me. I am so sorry to hear of his passing.

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