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Former APTS Board Chair George Miles to Retire

George L. Miles, Jr., who has served as President and CEO of WQED Multimedia in Pittsburgh since September 1994, will retire at the end of September. Deborah Acklin was unanimously selected by the WQED Board of Directors to take the helm as President and CEO effective September 23, 2010  (see Press Release).

George L. Miles, Jr.A Man of Great Stature

George was a member of the APTS Board of Trustees from 1989 through 1997, serving as Chairman of the Board from April 1995 through April 1997. David Brugger, APTS President and CEO during George’s tenure on the APTS Board, recalls: “George Miles and I met in the mid-1980s when he was brought into NPR by Ron Bornstein to help recover from their financial crisis of the early 1980s. I was at CPB working on the same set of issues. George was a financial guru on loan from Westinghouse Broadcasting coming from their Boston station. He proved to be a no-nonsense problem solver with a smile as wide as he is tall.”

Jerry Wareham, President and CEO of Cleveland’s WVIZ/PBS ideastream, was George’s colleague on the APTS Board from 1993 through 1997, and succeeded George as APTS Board Chairman from April 1997 through April 1999. Jerry recalls one particular meeting of the APTS Board where he met George’s wife Janet, who shared an anecdote that truly captured the essence of George. Jerry said: “I recall a meeting where we were graced by the presence of the spouses of APTS Trustees. In talking with George’s lovely wife Janet, I had to ask, ‘How did a nice girl like you wind up with a guy like him?’ and ‘How did you meet?’ Janet said, ‘Before I met George, I heard him’ -- recalling a dance in New Jersey where a young George was making his presence known with his voice that carries so well in the dance hall upstairs while she was entering downstairs. We all understood what she meant!”

George as APTS Leader

As a Member of the APTS Board, George’s leadership was indispensable in guiding the Association through vital challenges at the political level. David recalled: “George was a welcomed presence on the Board of APTS for his level-headed analysis of station issues and active participation in discussions on how best to serve the member stations. Of course as my board chairman, we had the opportunity to work closely and to discuss the political as well as the less exotic policy issues of growing grassroots and grasstops support.”

Jerry echoed David’s sentiments: “George was chair of APTS when federal funding for public broadcasting was under direct attack during President Clinton’s second term. We were thankful then because we needed a strong voice and he did not shy away from the challenge. We remain thankful today for all of his good work and will miss that voice of his in the future.”

David continued: “During George’s service on the APTS Board, he continued his dedication to the well-being of all stations because he understood their interdependence even when they didn’t think it was needed. He knew how to be critically constructive while being unquestionably supportive of the work of APTS for its members. As the CEO of APTS, I could not have asked him for more.”

In addition to leading APTS’s response to congressional challenges, George also was committed to strengthening public broadcasting and APTS. David concluded: “George was instrumental in bringing the four national organizations together at a time when that just did not happen. He worked closely with CPB board member, Rita Jean Butterworth, to convince all of the national organizations that they required better coordination of efforts and information if they were to be most effective.”


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