Three finalists for the general manager position for Wyoming PBS will come to campus for interviews and a public presentation the first week of May.
General Manager Ruby Calvert announced her retirement to her staff in December and it was later publicly announced at the January board meeting.
CWC received eleven applicants for the position and the search committee, made up of PBS employees, public media representatives and community stakeholders; narrowed the applicants to three.
The three candidates are Terry Dugas, Kurt Wilson and John King.
Dugas is currently the manager of content distribution for NET Television, the statewide PBS network in Lincoln, Nebr. His responsibilities include acquiring and scheduling content for NET Television’s broadcast, cable and internet channels. Dugas is also responsible for the department’s social media and on-air promotion strategy. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree in English from the University of South Carolina.
Wilson is currently the director of corporate support and major gifts at Central Michigan University. Throughout the last 13 years, Wilson has been a television producer, executive producer of television, underwriting coordinator and television pledge programmer. Wilson earned his degree at Central Michigan University in broadcast and cinematic arts.
King has three decades of experience in public broadcasting leadership. He is a member of the PBS board of directors and is a national leader in station services, efficiencies and policy review. King has served as president and CEO of Vermont Public Television for 16 years and has worked the same position for the Public Television Association of Quebec, based in Montreal, Canada. He earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Johnson State College.
Calvert, who has been the general manager for about nine years, has been with the station for more than 30 years and during that time, has seen it go through many transitions. She was one of the original ten hired for the station, which at the time was known as KCWC. It was set to launch in January 1983 however, 20 feet of snow prevented the station from putting the tower on Limestone Mountain, postponing the station’s opening to May, 1983.
“We were getting everything prepared to go on air from production schedule to scripts,” Calvert said.
The staff and station was originally formed to carry distance education to Wyoming residents who could not come to town, such as farmers and ranchers. These tele-courses aired throughout the state and offered about 14-18 courses ranging from English, History and Spanish to computer technology. The internet changed the course of the station as more people started taking online courses and the station saw a decline of viewers in the 2000’s.
In 2008, as a state wide station and during their 25th anniversary, a new name was established: Wyoming PBS. Officially the station is licensed as KCWC through Central Wyoming College from the Federal Communications Commission but is best known as WPBS. The station is a full PBS member and the offices and studio are located on CWCs’ campus in Riverton, Wyo.
Of the ten original employees only two are currently working at the station; Calvert and Bob Connelly, assistant general manager and transmitter engineer.
Calvert’s last day will be June 30 and she said she has plenty of options to enjoy her retirement. Her plans are to spend time with family and in Arizona and even take a few classes in pottery or photography but her future endeavors won’t end there.
“I would like to get back into production and start my own little production company,” Calvert said. “There are so many stories in Wyoming that WPBS doesn’t have time to do them all.”
Calvert will continue to be on boards that she is already a member of, one of them is the Buffalo bill Center of the West in which she is chairing an education advisory committee.
“WPBS has been such a part of my life and in my blood that it will be hard to leave but it will be good for both of us,” Calvert said. “We need new energy and new ideas, it’s a good thing.”
Calvert said she is hoping the new general manager will continue to build on what the station does through the community, outreach and in education.
“The outreach programs have been popular and has made a big impact, so I hope they continue that,” Calvert said. With the changes in demographics and how people view television, the new general manager needs to think of those changes and implement them, Calvert said.
“I love public television and I believe in it,” Calvert said. “It’s important and has critical values that I hope never get lost.”
The campus community and the public are encouraged to attend the public presentation which will be in the health and science building room 100 from 11:15-11:45 a.m.
The candidate’s presentation schedule is as follows:
May 4: John King
May 5: Kurt Wilson
May 6: Terry Dugas
For a complete biography’s please go to http://www.wyomingpbs.org