KCET restructures for independent launch


As KCET-TV Los Angeles parts company with PBS on New Year’s Day and becomes the nation’s largest independent public television station, it is also restructuring its management. The new corporate flow chart features a newly created “office of the president.”

Al Jerome will continue as President and CEO, but he will be joined in the new office of the president by Mary Mazur, who is moving into the role of the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer and Susan Reardon, who will serve as Chief Development Officer, also a new position. 

Four other executives are receiving promotions. Bret Marcus will be the Senior Vice President and Chief Content Officer, taking over Mazur’s previous role. Gordon Bell will be Senior Vice President of Operations and Engineering. June M. Baldwin will be the new Vice President and General Counsel, moving into Reardon’s previous position. Camille Gonzalez will become Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. 

“KCET has a very multi-talented group of senior executives, giving us the flexibility to restructure our team to better serve our needs as we become the nation’s largest independent public television station. This realignment will facilitate our outreach to creative and institutional partners that are critically important to delivering on our commitment to the Southern California audience and the promise of public media,” said Jerome.

Under the new management structure, Mazur will be responsible for all content, operations and communications functions. Marcus and Bell will report to her. Reardon will be in charge of all revenue functions, including major and planned giving, foundations, membership marketing, corporate underwriting and fundraising events. 

Here are bios provided by KCET:

Al Jerome, President and CEO
Jerome was named President and Chief Executive Officer of public television station KCET on February 1, 1996. Jerome brought to KCET his three decades of commercial television experience and forged an entrepreneurial approach that has been the driving force behind KCET’s innovative initiatives throughout his 14-year tenure. With Jerome at the helm, KCET has pursued production and new media strategies that tap into the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Southern and Central California. Prior to KCET, Jerome had a successful career in commercial broadcasting. His early experience was in sales and sales management at ABC and CBS. In 1975, Jerome began a 17-year association at NBC, which included a decade as President of the NBC Television Station Group, responsible for oversight of the company-owned affiliates in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Cleveland, Miami and Denver, as well as NBC Spot Sales. He also served as Vice-President and General Manager of WNBC-TV/New York.
Mary Mazur, Chief Operating Officer
Mazur joined KCET in 1997 and has served in the positions of Executive Vice President of Programming and Production and, most recently, as Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer. She helped to secure KCET’s distribution partnership with BBC World News as well as served as an Executive Producer on the nationally distributed Peabody Award-winning series for caregivers, A Place of Our Own and Los Niños en Su Casa, its Emmy®-winning Spanish-language companion. Prior to joining KCET, Mazur was Senior Vice President of Series Development at Cosgrove/Meurer Productions, where she was responsible for all drama and reality program development. Earlier she worked in a similar capacity as Senior Vice President of Development for Patchett Kaufman Productions. Before joining the production ranks, she was Vice President of Series Development for CBS Productions. In addition to her network experience at CBS, Mazur also worked at NBC where she was Director of Drama Development, and was involved with several dramatic series including LA Law and Matlock.

Susan Erburu Reardon, Chief Development Officer
Reardon joined KCET in 1997, most recently serving as Executive Vice President and General Counsel. In 2004, Reardon also assumed responsibility for obtaining grants from charitable foundations for programming, production and general operations. Prior to joining KCET, Reardon was with the law firm of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher for 17 years and a firm partner for seven years. She graduated with her A.B. in History magna cum laude from Radcliffe College (Harvard University) in 1977, was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, and received her J.D. in 1980 from Harvard Law School. She has been an adjunct professor at the Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles and has served on the board of directors of Public Counsel, a pro bono legal services organization. Her numerous community activities include serving on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Master Chorale Association (as a Vice President and Chair of its Artistic Advisory Committee) and as a Trustee of Idyllwild Arts Foundation, which supports the Idyllwild Summer Program and the Idyllwild Arts Academy, which provides pre-professional training in the arts and a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum for young artists.
Bret Marcus, Senior Vice President and Chief Content Officer
Marcus, most recently Senior Vice President of Programming and Production at KCET, also serves as Executive Producer of KCET’s Peabody, duPont-Columbia and multiple Emmy® Award-winning SoCal Connected. Marcus, a 17-time Emmy winning news producer, joined KCET in 2006 as executive producer of the award-winning statewide news magazine California Connected, which won Emmy®, National Headliner, Gracie and duPont-Columbia awards under his leadership. Prior to joining KCET, Marcus was executive producer of The News with Brian Williams for NBC News and MSNBC. He was also News Director at two NBC-owned stations – WNBC in New York and WRC in Washington, DC. Also an ABC News veteran, Marcus was executive producer of World News Now and Good Morning America Sunday as well as the broadcast producer of the highly acclaimed documentary series, Turning Point. Marcus is the recipient of two Peabody and four duPont-Columbia awards.   
Gordon Bell, Senior Vice President of Operations and Engineering
Bell, most recently KCET’s Vice President of Engineering and Operations, joined the station in 1998 as Technical Director and has been instrumental in the shaping of KCET’s digital future. He currently oversees KCET’s Broadcast Operations and Information Technology departments.  Prior to KCET, Bell founded and ran an independent television production facilities company as well as served as a freelance technical director or technical manager on programs produced in North America and internationally for every major network in the U.S. and Canada, including Turner Goodwill Games, two G8 Summit conferences and two World Series.
June M. Baldwin, Vice President and General Counsel
Baldwin, most recently Director of Business and Legal Affairs, has advised KCET on legal and business issues in addition to preparing and reviewing contracts for all areas of the station’s operations. Prior to KCET, Baldwin held Business Affairs positions at NBC, UPN and Columbia TriStar Television as well as heading up Business Affairs at independent production companies for Johnny Carson, Norman Lear, Quincy Jones and Aaron Spelling. A graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School, Baldwin was one of the first African Americans to enter the executive ranks of the entertainment industry. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of The Minority Health Institute.
Camille Gonzalez, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Gonzalez, most recently KCET Controller, joined KCET’s Finance Department in 2005. She served in finance positions for 15 years at ABC News. Previously she served as Controller at KFWB Newstalk 980 and KCAL 9 TV.

RBR-TVBR observation: Often we tend to think of commercial and non-commercial broadcasting as different worlds with little overlap for career professionals. That is clearly not the case with KCET. Six of these seven executives have commercial broadcasting experience – and at very high levels – as well as non-comm and the other played in the major leagues of the legal profession before joining KCET. These folks have not been living in an ivory tower, so their deep and varied resumes will no doubt help KCET find what works and what doesn’t work as it heads into uncharted waters as a giant independent, but still non-commercial, television station.