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APTS to Recognize Three Leaders in Advocacy on Behalf of Public Broadcasting

WASHINGTON — February 6, 2010 — The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) will recognize three leaders in public broadcasting with the 2010 APTS National Advocacy Awards. Malcolm Brett, Director of Television for Wisconsin Public Television, Molly Phillips, Director of Communications for Iowa Public Television, and Rob Shuman, President and CEO of Maryland Public Television are being honored for their exceptional efforts in furthering public television's legislative goals. The National Advocacy Award recognizes an individual or station that exemplifies effective advocacy on behalf of public television.  

A Key Player
Malcolm Brett is being recognized for his role as an instrumental leader in the public broadcasting community. Brett's understated style, but dogged determination, was crucial as he advocated for meaningful and urgently needed fiscal stabilization funding for local public television and radio stations last year with his Congressman, Representative David Obey (D-WI). His passion and articulate manner are extremely effective in describing the services his station provides to Wisconsin residents.  

"Malcolm is a natural leader and is steadfast in his advocacy efforts," said APTS Presidents and CEO Larry Sidman. "He understands that relationship building is vital when championing a cause. Malcolm always answers the call to action anytime he is asked. He is a fearless advocate and we're proud to have him as a leader in public broadcasting."  

Brett is the Director of Broadcasting and Media Innovations for the University of Wisconsin-Extension. He is responsible for Wisconsin Public Television, Wisconsin Public Radio, the National Center for Media Engagement and Media Innovations as it applies to broadcasting and education. Media innovations includes research involving interactive/enhanced television, video delivery over Internet 2, and media asset management. Brett has also served as the Director of Television for Wisconsin Public Television and General Manager of the Network's flagship station, WHA-TV. Brett serves on the Board of PBS and is the Chair of Public Television's University Licensee Association.    

A Model Advocate   
Molly Phillips is being recognized for the integral role she plays in ensuring the voices and concerns of public television stations are heard on Capitol Hill and at the state level. Phillips has worked tirelessly over the years to build extremely close working relationships with her entire Congressional delegation. Phillips is public television's chief advocate with Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), who now not only serves as the Chairman of the Labor, HHS Appropriations Subcommittee, but also as Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, securing his position as one of the most influential Members of the Senate.  

"Molly is the quintessential public television advocate," said Sidman. "She constantly goes above and beyond the call of duty and has no qualms about doing whatever it takes in order for public television to succeed. This year, Molly flew from Iowa to Washington to meet with Senator Harkin's office to discuss ways that public television could promote health education and disease prevention awareness in the health care bill. We are fortunate to have Molly as a key advocate of the public broadcasting community."    

Phillips is Director of Communications for Iowa Public Television, where she is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the statewide network's communication efforts, including media relations, on-air promotions, publications, graphic arts and branding. She also advocates for Iowa Public Television at the state and federal level, ensuring Iowa Public Television's mission and essential services are adequately funded.  

A Valuable Leader
Rob Shuman is being recognized for his determined efforts in the legislative process this year, which only adds to his long-standing advocacy work. Over the years, Shuman has cultivated respected working relationships with his Congressional delegation in Maryland, which includes some of the highest ranking members in Congress. It is no surprise that those Members, including House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen and Senator Barbara Mikulski, championed a number of public broadcasting's top priorities.  

"Public television is extremely fortunate to have someone with Rob's knowledge, skills and abilities working on its behalf," said Sidman. "For example, Rob's advocacy before with Senator Barbara Mikulski was immensely important as we fought to restore funding for PTFP. Senator Mikulski delivered an impassioned defense of the program as it came under attack on the Senate floor. Rob's leadership is an immense value to public broadcasting."  

Shuman joined Maryland Public Television (MPT) as President and CEO in 1996. He is past chairman of the Public Television Major Market Group, a confederation of the nation's top public TV stations, and he is a Board Member of the National Educational Telecommunications Association. He is a member, and served on the boards, of three other prominent industry groups, the Association of the Public Television Stations, which he chaired, the Organization of State Broadcasting Executives and the Affinity Group Coalition. Shuman also served as Chairman of the Affinity Group Coalition and presently chairs its education committee as part of public television's nationwide initiative on education.     

About APTS
The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) is a nonprofit membership organization established in 19790. The mission of APTS is to conduct – in concert with member stations – advocacy, planning, research and communications activities in order to achieve strong and financially sound noncommercial television and advanced digital services for the American people. APTS provides consistent leadership and information that helps our members better accomplish their own missions and goals. APTS promotes the legislative and regulatory interests of noncommercial television stations at the national level through direct advocacy, and grasstops and grassroots campaigns designed to garner congressional support. 


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