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May 15, 2017

National Friends of Public Broadcasting Present 2017 Grassroots Advocacy Award to Kathy Rae

Today, at the beginning of the PBS Annual Meeting in San Diego, the National Friends of Public Broadcasting (NFPB) presented the 2017 Grassroots Advocacy Award to Kathleen Rae, Lay Delegate, KPBS, San Diego, California.

The NFPB Grassroots Advocacy Award is given to a public media volunteer or volunteer coordinator that has demonstrated outstanding leadership skills in organizing, engaging in or enhancing a grassroots advocacy program at his/her station that resulted in furthering public media’s legislative goals and marshaling grassroots support for their local station.

“Kathy Rae has been along-time advocate for the entire public media system,” said Dorothy Pacella, Chair, National Friends of Public Broadcasting. “Kathy’s dedication to our public media system is unwavering. She has been an outspoken advocate first for WNET New York Public Media for more than 25 years and most recently as a volunteer for KPBS in San Diego for the last four years. No one is more deserving of this year’s NFPB Grassroots Advocacy Award than Kathy, and it’s my privilege to present it to her today.”

“Deservedly, public broadcasting has legions of friends — from the volunteers and individual donors at PBS and NPR stations across the country and their many millions of avid public television watchers and public radio listeners, to the bipartisan support public broadcasting enjoys in a multitude of State Houses and in the Halls of Congress in Washington, D.C.,” said Kathy Rae. “I am proud to be counted as one of those friends.”

“KPBS is extremely fortunate to have had Kathy retire in San Diego,” said Tom Karlo, General Manager, KPBS. “Even though she had a long and successful career at WNET, her passion for public media remains strong – into retirement! We were thrilled to get to know her and are so blessed to have her knowledge and support with government relations.”

Shortly after moving west, Kathy volunteered her services to KPBS and has served as a KPBS representative on APTS’s Leadership Council for the last three years and a member of the station’s Producers Club. As a resident of the “North County,” Rae is involved with several community organizations, including Hand to Hand, a fund of the Coastal Community Foundation. She just completed a two-year term as Chair of Hand to Hand’s Grants making Committee. Rae also serves as an at-large member of the Board of Trustees of America’s Public Television Stations.

Rae is the former Director of Government Affairs for Thirteen/WNET New York. In that capacity, she served as the liaison with elected officials at the city, State and federal government levels on a range of issues of concern to public broadcasting, including funding support, educational and cultural initiatives, and telecommunications issues. She drafted the proposal submitted to the State of New Jersey at the State’s request that enabled New Jersey’s public television services to continue under the aegis of WNET and its new subsidiary, NJTV. The contract for services negotiated at that time was recently renewed for another 5 year term. Rae was the recipient of the APTS’s Grassroots Advocacy Award in 2000 and its National Advocacy Award in 2012.

Prior to assuming responsibility for WNET’s Government Affairs in 1997, Rae served as WNET’s Director of Educational Technology. In that capacity she helped develop a number of new initiatives including WNET’s Kravis Educational Multimedia Center that was launched in 1992. From 1984 to 1991, she served as WNET’s Director of New Jersey Operations and was instrumental in the development of several major prime time programs including William J. Brennan, Justice for All, a recipient of the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award.

At Top: Diane Masciale, John Servidio, Dorothy Pacella, Neal Shapiro, Paula Kerger and KPBS’ Tom Karlo present Kathy (3rd from right) with this well deserved award.

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