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A Pathological Optimist’s Vision for a Powerful, Collaborative Public Media of the Future

Membership, Social/Mobile, Corporate Support, Major Giving, General Management, philanthropy

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It’s been an exciting eight weeks since I stepped into my role as Greater Public CEO, in particular because we’re in a moment in history when what we do is more important to the public than ever before.

While public media is growing and expanding reach and impact based on audience trust and support, it’s also clear that, as individual organizations, most of us don’t have enough of a margin to invest in ourselves.

We must:

  • Double down on local content creation.
  • Buy or build the digital infrastructure we need to position ourselves for the future.
  • Invest in reaching new audiences.
  • Figure out how to fully monetize non-broadcast engagement.

I firmly believe that there is huge untapped support for us, if and only if we move as a team, focusing relentlessly on our biggest opportunities to support our service to the public, by:

  • Blowing the roof off on philanthropy.
  • Finding and building non-broadcast, cross-platform pathways to audience engagement, loyalty, and financial support.
  • Ensuring that our membership programs are best-in-class.
  • Maximizing value for our sponsors, and net revenue for our organizations.
  • Finding resources for smart, efficient, and impactful marketing and engagement activities.
  • Seeking scalable collaborations and partnerships, both inside and outside of public media, to accomplish all of the above.

I also firmly believe that if we each go it alone, we will not get there in time.

Now I’ll admit... I’ve been called a “pathological optimist.”

It’s a title I embrace, and an approach that has served me well in my years in public media.

So here is my vision:


As an industry, we will seek and secure a level of financial support commensurate with public media’s importance to individuals, to communities, and to America.

In the near term, Greater Public will focus attention and resources on
building organizational muscle to support your work, most urgently in two big areas of opportunity: philanthropy and non-broadcast revenue. I could not be more convinced that if public media moves as a team in these areas, we will be absolutely unstoppable.

And what makes a winning team?

  • Generous collaboration
  • Respect, trust, and a willingness to change and adapt for the greater good
  • Belief that what benefits the team will ultimately benefit all players
  • Resilience, patience, and a good sense of humor

We at Greater Public will strive to be an indispensable member of your team as we all aim really, really high.

As community institutions that make people’s lives better, we must make our decisions and build our future together for the public. I’m thrilled to begin this work as we collaborate generously, and move as a team.

Let’s get started!

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