Monday, April 22, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 135



KUHT-TV looks for new chief

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."

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