News & Updates

The Programming Service for Public Television celebrates 25th anniversary with Founders event

Tampa, FL (October 17, 2022)

The Programming Service for Public Television celebrated its 25th anniversary with a special event for the founders of the company. The founders of The Programming Service, together with the current staff, met together to celebrate the history of the company and the accomplishments of the last 25 years.

In 1996, Florida Public Broadcasting (FPB) received a planning grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to explore the possibility of consolidating some services performed at each Florida member station in order to create efficiencies of scale and allow stations to conserve operating funds.  Five member stations were willing to contribute funding to the startup of the programming service: Steve Rogers & WEDU, Patrick Keating (deceased) & WFSU, Bill Dresser (deceased) & WJCT, Allan Pizzato & WSRE, Rick Lehner & WUFT, which became the founding partners.  Michael Seymour, previously of KERA, was hired as President of Programming by unanimous vote.  They started work on August 12, 1996 as the first official day of business of the FPB Programming Service, as it was first known.

What originally started as an idea to save individual public television stations some money and to improve station scheduling, increase viewership and membership, has evolved over the years into an industry-leading organization that exceeded every measure of success that was ever set for it.  These 25 years later, the business has grown from the 5 original stations to 50, representing 73 television markets and 45% of the total TV households in the country. The Programming Service continues to work diligently to improve viewership and membership for its client stations, as well as work with national public television leadership in a variety of ways to foster best practices and innovate new ideas for public television nationally.

When accepting his Founders’ plaque, Steve Rogers gave a passionate speech about “PBS DNA” and the special importance public media holds in our country and how The Programming Service not only has that unique DNA, but is a torchbearer in the sphere of public media. In terms of the founders event, he said, “When we created The Programming Service twenty five years ago there were five Florida stations willing to take the chance. We had no idea it would grow into the organization we witnessed at the Founders Dinner providing programming services to half the PBS system! Congratulations to all of you on such a wonderful success and thank you for honoring us with such a beautiful event”

Rick Lehner commented, “It was wonderful to see so many friends and meet all of the great people who make The Programming Service so successful.  I am so delighted to see the dream we all had 25 years ago become such a successful and integral part of the public television system.  You have all worked so hard to ensure the success of The Programming Service.  I know we, as the founding stations, appreciate all that you continue to do for the clients and all of public television.”

“What a wonderful evening of celebrating 25 years of The Programming Service.” Said Mike Seymour. “Sharing the evening with my Programming Service family, Board members, and 3 of the 5 founders made for a perfect night. Thank you to BaBette and all the folks that helped her plan the celebration. What a joyous day and night! I was so touched by the tree dedication memorial to Lyn and me at the park. I know she would be pleased and honored to be remembered in such a manner.”

BaBette Davidson, President and CEO of The Programming Service since 2015 said, “We are so grateful for the opportunity to recognize and honor our founding partners. We would not be where we are today without them. It was a wonderful experience to revel in the rich history of The Programming Service and to see how far we have come in the last 25 years. Providing excellent programming to our client stations and their communities has always been our top priority, and that is something that has not changed since the company was founded. Our goal is to continue the great tradition of The Programming Service and we are excited to see where we can go in the next 25 years.”

New Hampshire PBS and Nashville Public Television join The Programming Service for Public Television

Tampa, FL (July 5, 2022)

The Programming Service is delighted to announce that New Hampshire PBS and Nashville Public Television have both joined our programming family.

New Hampshire PBS has served its community with award winning local programs and the best that PBS has to offer for over sixty years. New Hampshire PBS is committed to, “commercial free programming that engages minds, connects communities, and celebrates the Granite State in a way that entertains as well as educates and has impact beyond the broadcast.” Nashville Public Television similarly is highly committed to its community. With the core values of, “respect for our audience, diversity and balance of perspectives, and integrity in everything we do”, Nashville Public Television’s mission is to inspire, educate, and engage their community of over 2 million people throughout the Middle Tennessee and southern Kentucky viewing area.

The communities that we serve are at the center of everything we do at The Programming Service. We believe in the power that public television has and it is always our goal to provide programming that is enjoyable and impactful. BaBette Davidson, President and CEO of The Programming Service said, “We look forward to welcoming Peter Frid and the New Hampshire PBS team back to TPS!  It says so much that they are returning to the service.  We are excited to partner with them as NH PBS continues to super serve their community with the best of PBS and their own unique flavor of local programs. Nashville Public Television does incredible work in their community, as well, with exceptional programs like Next Door Neighbors, Tennessee Crossroads, Volunteer Gardener, The Citizenship Project and Aging Matters. We are honored to support their local efforts with the very best national content available and to continue our partnership with the incomparable Becky Magura!” We are grateful that we will get to work with New Hampshire PBS and Nashville Public Television and have a hand in the wonderful work that both stations are doing for the people in their areas.

The Programming Service for Public Television Celebrates Twenty-Five Years of Service

Tampa, FL (May 18th, 2022)

As we celebrate 25 years, The Programming Service for Public Television is deeply thankful to the amazing stations that have allowed us to become their trusted partners in expanding public television’s mission.

With gratitude for the visionary leadership and counsel of founding President Mike Seymour and his wife Lyn Ganz Seymour

1996 Founding Station Leaders:
WEDU PBS – Steve Rogers
WFSU Public Media – Patrick Keating
WJCT Public Media – Bill Dresser
WSRE – Allan Pizzato
WUFT News – Rick Lehner

Cyndy Robbins Joins The Programming Service for Public Television as Vice President of Programming

Tampa, FL (April 4, 2022)

BaBette Davidson, President and CEO of The Programming Service for Public Television, announced that Cyndy Robbins has joined the organization as Vice President of Programming.

Davidson said, “We are delighted to have Cyndy join our team. We have a long work history with Cyndy and she has accomplished so much in her twenty-five years in public broadcasting. She will bring a lot of expertise to our station partners and we can’t wait to see how she will help us continue to grow as a company.” In reference to her new position, Robbins said, “I am honored to be joining the dedicated team at The Programming Service and to contribute to the future success of local stations across the U.S.”

Robbins began working with Vegas PBS in 2007 as Director of Programming and became the Content Director in 2012.  Robbins has served on many national committees including PBS Programming Advisory Council (Chair), PBS Pledge Programming Advisory Council and American Public Television’s Premium Service Advisory Committee. She has also been the recipient of several Public Relations Society of America Awards including Pinnacle Awards and Awards of Excellence for campaigns at Vegas PBS and many other public television awards such as a Golden Grid award from TRAC Media Services and the PBS Development Inspiration Award in 2010 for the “Do Your Part” campaign.

KLRN joins The Programming Service for Public Television

Tampa, FL (December 1, 2021)

The Programming Service is pleased to announce that KLRN of San Antonio, Texas has joined our programming family.

KLRN has been a premiere PBS station for nearly 60 years. KLRN’s mission is to, “open a world of lifelong learning through trustworthy and enriching programs on-air, online and in our community.” KLRN’s dedication to learning and exploration is inspiring and truly uplifts the community. The Programming Service is thrilled to be able to support KLRN in their mission since we too are dedicated to lifelong learning and strive to have a positive impact on viewers with the very best programming available. President and CEO of The Programming Service, BaBette Davidson, said, “We are so happy that we were able to add Andrea Sosa, who was the programmer for KLRN, to our team, and now the station itself. KLRN is doing great work in San Antonio and we are grateful to have a hand in their efforts.” Arthur Emerson, President and CEO of KLRN said, “All of us at KLRN are looking forward to joining The Programming Service for Public Television.  We’re convinced that our community will benefit from the collective wisdom of a team of program experts and the collaboration with other member PBS stations.”

Andrea Sosa Joins the Programming Service for Public Television as a Program Director

Tampa, FL (November 15, 2021)

BaBette Davidson, President and CEO of The Programming Service for Public Television, announced that Andrea Sosa has joined the organization as a Program Director.

Davidson said, “We are beyond thrilled to have Andrea join our team. Andrea is a wonderful programmer and person!  She has accomplished so much during her time at KLRN and has really made a difference in the PBS system. She is the perfect addition to our team and we look forward to all that she will accomplish for our station partners.” In reference to her new position, Sosa said, “After 18 years in Public Broadcasting with KLRN in San Antonio, I am delighted to embark on a new journey with The Programming Service for Pubic Television, where I will continue to develop program schedules for KLRN, as well as other stations across the country. I look forward to joining this exceptional team of dedicated programming professionals and continue to serve our local communities.”

Sosa began working with KLRN Public Television in 2003. She originally joined KLRN as a Programming Assistant and in 2018 was promoted to Director of Program Content. Andrea was Vice President of the PTPA Board in 2016 and the President of the PTPA board in 2017. In 2019, Sosa was named the PTPA Programmer of the Year and will remain on the board until 2022. Sosa has also been involved in PBS Advisory Councils, was a Wyncote Fellow in 2018, and has earned certificates in General Nonprofit Management, Fundraising, and Leadership Development.

Founded in 1996, The Programming Service for Public Television is based in Tampa and currently serves 49 PBS client stations across the country. The company provides strategic program scheduling customized for each market across all platforms, consults on station program-purchase decisions and guides in crafting on-air fundraising schedules in markets including LA, Seattle, Detroit, Orlando, Milwaukee, Iowa, and Denver among others.

WILL joins The Programming Service for Public Television

Tampa, FL (November 2, 2021)

The Programming Service is delighted to announce that Illinois Public Media (WILL), on the campus of the University of Illinois and serving the East Central Illinois area, has joined our programming family.

WILL has a century of history behind it. WILL’s radio station began broadcasting in the 1920s and WILL-TV began broadcasting in 1955. Since then, WILL has been dedicated to educating its community and viewers through public media. Illinois Public Media is committed to entertaining, inspiring, and empowering its audience with the best of public television, which is a mission that The Programming Service for Public Television shares. President and CEO of The Programming Service, BaBette Davidson, said, “We are so happy to work with the WILL-TV team and for the trust that they are showing in us in this new partnership. Their passion for public television matches our own and we are eager to assist them in serving their community.” Lillie Duncanson, Director of Broadcast Operations at WILL, said, “This partnership will not only grow our audience but will bring efficiencies to the organization, allowing us to focus on the local services that make Illinois Public Media an essential part of East Central Illinois.”

Tampa, FL (August 23, 2021)

The Programming Service is proud to announce that we are celebrating our 25th anniversary! Thank you to our family of stations and our wonderful partners who have made this possible. We are grateful to be part of the positive impact that public television has made over the last 25 years.

KAMU and WTCI joins The Programming Service for Public Television

Tampa, FL (March 1, 2021)

The Programming Service is pleased to announce that KAMU in College Station, Texas and WTCI in Chattanooga, Tennessee have recently joined our programming family.

Universal educational opportunity has been KAMU’s mission for over 50 years. The Programming Service hopes to continue to build on the educational legacy that KAMU has been constructing for decades by offering premier programming and services that will continue to enrich and engage the community. BaBette Davidson, President and CEO of The Programming Service said, “We are so excited to work with Doug Walker and his excellent team at KAMU. We are extremely grateful to work with such a strong group of Texas stations.”

WTCI similarly has been enriching their community for over 50 years. WTCI aims to be a “center of exploration for all ages”. The Programming Service is excited to partner with WTCI in order to assist them with their mission of “empowering people to discover their world” and to continue to be a prominent community resource. Davidson said, “We are so thrilled to once again be working with our good friend, Bob Culkeen, and his outstanding staff at WTCI.”