APTS restructures to support strategic goals for state-level advocacy, public service

The Association of Public Television Stations has restructured its staff to align with recently adopted strategic goals, including efforts to promote best practices, increase state and federal funding and support advocacy for the system at large. Two key staffers are stepping up to manage the expanding workload. Kate Riley, director of government relations, has been promoted to v.p., government and public affairs; she will focus on advocacy and state and federal funding. Emil Mara, v.p. for finance and administration, will direct member services. The reorganization follows through on a strategic plan adopted by the APTS board of trustees in November, according to Pat Butler, president.

New fellowships pair independent producers with coaches for entrepreneurial training

A new fellowship program from the Association of Independents in Radio pairs a dozen content creators with coaches in an incubator-style approach to training. The program, an extension of AIR’s long-running mentorship program, aims to boost the participants’ entrepreneurial skills, said Sue Schardt, executive director of AIR. “What we were looking for is people who have very clear goals for what they’re trying to achieve,” she said. “These are people with their chops in place and [who] are ready to launch in a new direction in their career or take on a new venture.”

AIR received about 36 applications and selected 12 from those. The certified professional coaches are Tom Livingston, Jackie Bsharah, Richard Gibson and Mark Sachs.

KCETLink selects former ABC Family executive as new president

Michael Riley, a former head of ABC Family, is the new president of Los Angeles-based KCETLink, the independent public media station and satellite TV channel. Riley succeeds Al Jerome, the KCET executive who led what had been PBS’s flagship station in Los Angeles through its acrimonious 2011 split from PBS. He spearheaded the station’s subsequent merger with noncommercial satellite broadcaster Link TV in October 2012. Dick Cook, board chair for KCETLink Media Group, cited Riley’s “strong track record in brand-defining content creation, strategic partnerships, acquisitions and digital leadership — both domestically and across international markets” in Monday’s announcement. Riley began in the job immediately.