KUHT-TV looks for new
Cougar News Services
KUHT-TV, the University-based Public Broadcasting
System affiliate, is in search of a new general manager following Jeff
Clarke's decision that
he will leave in June. Clarke, who has
been at KUHT-TV since 1992, will become president and CEO of San Francisco's
PBS affiliate, KQED-TV.
Station manager John Hesse has been named
interim general manager of the country's oldest public broadcasting station.
He has been at
Channel 8 since 1997 and has been in charge
of programming, production, communications, development and community outreach.
Hesse has direct control over the Emmy
Award-winning WeekDay and national programs such as Mary Lou's Flip Flop
Shop, To Heal a Heart,
Space Station and The Houston Symphony:
A Maestro's Farewell.
"John Hesse is an integral part of the
leadership team that Jeff Clarke built at KUHT," said Ed Hugetz, assistant
vice president for planning and
university outreach. "John's knowledge
of the day-to-day station operations and of what it takes to run a successful
PBS station will be invaluable
for us going forward. His steady hand
will carry us through this transition period. Plus, John has indicated
he intends to be a candidate for the
general manager's position as our national
search goes forward."
The station began broadcasting in May 1953
and was the nation's first public broadcasting station. KUHT-TV began as
the dream of then-UH
President Walter K. Kemmerer. Kemmerer
wanted to expand the reach of the University beyond the classroom. The
station programmed shows
that would interest students, faculty
and the Houston community.
The station first broadcast in color in
1964; became the first station in Houston to provide closed captioning
for the hearing impaired in '81; and
offered bilingual capabilities, descriptive
video and a Houston Taping for the Blind radio signal in '91.
"A public broadcasting organization can
no longer look at itself simply as a broadcaster," Hesse said. "It must
establish itself as the primary
provider of unique programming and services."