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Mark Contreras, AL DÍA Foundation board member, is among the newest members of the PBS Board of Directors. Photo Courtesy of Mark Contreras.
Mark Contreras, AL DÍA Foundation board member, is among the newest members of the PBS Board of Directors. Photo Courtesy of Mark Contreras.

Mark Contreras has been named to the PBS Board of Directors

The devoted local media connoisseur is joining the Board for the network known for providing a wide array of programs for people of all ages and backgrounds.

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Some Latino representation will be added to the PBS Board of Directors with the recent election of Mark Contreras, President and CEO of Connecticut Public. 

Contreras will become the new Professional Director of the PBS Board, filling the seat vacated by Susi Elkins, former director of broadcasting and general manager of WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University. 

“As a board member, I hope to advocate for continued investments in digital technologies and innovations, as well as to strongly advocate for a continued emphasis to create content to reach younger and more diverse audiences,” wrote Contreras in an email to AL DÍA

He joins what is now a 27-person PBS Board, which includes both Professional Directors, who are station leaders; General Directors, who serve as lay members of the Board; as well as the PBS President.

Prior to becoming President and CEO of Connecticut Public in 2019, Contreras built his legacy by leading several media businesses through digital transformation.

He more recently served as Dean of the School of Communications at Quinnipiac University from August 2019 to March 2019, after serving nearly 6 years as CEO of Calkins Media. During his tenure leading Calkins, the company developed innovative new strategies to maximize audience reach, engagement and revenue by embracing streaming media platforms, such as Roku, Amazon Fire and Apple TV.

Contreras has also served as Chairman of the News Media Association and the American Press Institute.   

Throughout his professional career, Contreras has been a huge advocate and supporter for local journalism

Doing so, he has led various local newspaper publishing and digital businesses for three public companies, including Capital Cities/ABC; Pulitzer, Inc; and The E.W. Scripps Co.

In the announcement, PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger said that the entire Board is “delighted to have Mark join the PBS Board of Directors.”

“His broad experience in the television, digital, news and publishing industries will be incredibly valuable in the ever-changing media environment we are working in today.” she added. 

Contreras refers to PBS as “a national treasure” for its consistently high quality content, and also for investing in creating content across a variety of topics aimed at diverse audiences. 

In comparison, he noted that Connecticut Public is planning to host and air a series of debates across the state this Fall that fall consistently in line with its public service commitment. 

“The way the public consumes media is very rapidly changing and thankfully, PBS has kept up with many of these changes with technology and digital distribution strategies about which I have been very supportive,” Contreras told AL DÍA

PBS Professional Directors are elected by PBS member stations, while General Directors, the PBS President and the Board officers are all elected by the Board. The Board currently comprises of 14 Professional Directors, 12 General Directors, and the PBS President. 

“The board is a unique mix of local leaders like me as well as a diverse group of accomplished media experts, educators and entrepreneurs,” added Contreras. 

“I’m very excited about participating as a member of this uniquely American institution.”

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