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    February 8, 1999
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PBS CREATES COMMUNICATIONS & BRAND MANAGEMENT DEPARTMENT TO STRENGTHEN PBS AND MEMBER STATION BRANDS

ALEXANDRIA, VA., February 8, 1999 -- A restructured Communications & Brand Management (CBM) department has been formed at the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), announced Carole L. Feld, senior vice president of communications & brand management. The department, formerly called Advertising, Promotion & Corporate Communications, will place a greater emphasis on strategic communications leadership and customer service.

The Communications & Brand Management department will counsel PBS management regarding brand strategy and positioning in all venues. It will also serve as an in-house agency for PBS's expanding array of media services and provide creative materials and strategic guidance to PBS's 349 member stations.

The department is divided into three groups:

  • Strategy & Brand Management, which develops strategies and creates materials to promote PBS programs and services and strengthen the PBS and member station brands;
  • Communications, which devises strategies and disseminates information designed to advance public appreciation for PBS's activities; and,
  • Account Services, the "door" to CBM and manager of customer relationships and needs.
The New York-based consulting firm specializing in media companies, Grow Associates, assisted with the restructuring of the team.

"PBS's trusted brand name conveys quality, originality and public service," said Ms. Feld. "This restructuring will enable PBS and its member stations to exercise and strengthen our local and national brands more strategically in every media venue."

"The traditional in-house communications model no longer cuts it; the in-house communication group has now become the 'keepers of the brand.'," Ms. Feld continued. "Our strategic and creative expertise is a crucial element of PBS's continuing transition to a multi-faceted media enterprise."

Judy Braune becomes vice president of strategy and brand management and will oversee creative services, strategy/brand management and station communications activities. John Ruppenthal is promoted to senior creative director and will take the reigns of the creative services unit. Kristine Barr is promoted to director, brand management and station communications.

The Account Services area will be headed by Marcia Brooks, who is promoted to senior director of account services. The account services area will work with the Communications & Brand Management department's customers as project manager, handling key projects and initiatives.

Tom Epstein will continue to oversee the Communications area as vice president of communications. In addition to his existing media relations and public affairs duties, Mr. Epstein will oversee the electronic communications team, which handles PBS Express and PBS Inline, the public television system's internal communications services. Carrie Johnson becomes director, program promotion strategy & special events, and assumes additional event and program strategy responsibilities. Cynthia Stapp is named senior manager and will oversee all of program information, plus the electronic graphics service. The corporate communications team, led by Stu Kantor, expands its education and online communications staff and will also manage viewer mail. Harry Forbes continues to direct the program press relations office, overseeing national publicity and events, in New York.

PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 349 public television stations. A trusted community resource, PBS uses the power of noncommercial television, the Internet and other media to enrich the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services that inform, inspire and delight. Available to 99 percent of American homes with televisions and to an increasing number of digital multimedia households, PBS serves nearly 100 million people each week.

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