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People News: WKAR's Elkins Elected to Public Television Leadership Position

portrait: Susi Elkins
Lindsay Wilkinson

WKAR general manager to serve as APTS Professional Vice Chair

EAST LANSING, MI; Feb. 11, 2021 - America's Public Television Stations announced today that Susi Elkins, Director of Broadcasting and General Manager of WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, has been elected to serve as Professional Vice Chair on the board of the non-profit organization.

The mission of APTS is to ensure a strong and financially sound public television system and help member stations provide essential public services in education, public safety, and civic leadership for their communities.

“It's an honor to be selected by my public television peers to serve in this leadership position on the APTS board,” said Elkins. “I look forward to our work ahead as the board focuses on increasing federal and state funding for our stations so they can continue to expand critical services to their communities, including NextGen TV and broadcast Internet educational services.”

The public television system is comprised of 158 licensees operating 356 public television stations across America and serving more than 97 percent of the American people. All are locally owned, locally operated, and locally oriented in their programming and community services, and all share a mission of serving everyone, everywhere, every day for free.

In addition to her role on the APTS board, Elkins currently serves on the PBS Board and the University Licensee Association Executive Council.

Under Elkins' leadership, WKAR has increased its commitment to early childhood education through the launch of the PBS Kids 24/7 channel, WKAR Family original content and the PBS KIDS Playtime Pad research collaborative. Elkins also led the launch of a new WKAR News/Talk FM station for the capital region and strengthened local news coverage with an emphasis on education and public affairs reporting.

In collaboration with MSU, Elkins led the effort to launch the first ATSC 3.0 experimental station licensed to a public media organization. Granted the FCC experimental license in June 2018, WKAR then launched the NextGen Media Innovation Lab to accelerate development of public service applications and NextGen business services for public broadcasters.

Other APTS board leaders announced today include Andrew Russell, President and CEO of PBS SoCal and KCET in Los Angeles, California, elected Chair; and David Steward II, Immediate Past Board Chair of Nine PBS in St. Louis, Missouri, elected Lay Vice Chair.

Newly elected trustees are Eric Easter, Lay Trustee of WHUT in Washington, D.C. and Anthony Hayes, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of New England Public Media in Springfield, Massachusetts.  

Re-elected to the APTS Board of Trustees are W. Craig Fugate, At-Large Trustee in Gainesville, Florida; Jeffrey Gilbert, Board Chair of New Hampshire PBS; Mimi Chapin Gregory, Lay Trustee of WGCU in Fort Myers, Florida; and Edward Ulman, President and CEO of Alaska Public Media (AKPM).

The newly elected officers and trustees will begin their terms on Monday, February 22, 2021.

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