CPB Senior Vice Presidents Jennifer Lawson & Bruce Theriault to Retire; Joseph Tovares Tapped as Chief Content Officer

Feb 08, 2016

Washington, D.C. (February 8, 2016) – The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) announced today that Jennifer Lawson, senior vice president for Television & Digital Content, and Bruce Theriault, senior vice president for Journalism and Radio, will retire in May 2016.

Joseph Tovares, senior vice president for Diversity and Innovation, will become chief content officer with the goal of strengthening coordination and collaboration across television, radio, diversity and innovation.

“We greatly appreciate Jennifer and Bruce’s service and leadership at CPB,” said CPB’s President and CEO Pat Harrison. “Their contributions to CPB and to public media as a whole have been remarkable.”  

“Naming Joseph Tovares as chief content officer reflects CPB's focus on the future of public media by strengthening collaboration through an emphasis on innovation and diversity,” commented Harrison. 

Jennifer Lawson’s career spans nearly 30 years in public media. She spearheaded CPB’s plans for diverse digital content development and supported many successful television projects from public media stations and independent producers. 

Lawson previously served as general manager/CEO of Howard University Television (WHUT) and as executive vice president of Programming & Promotion Services at PBS, where she oversaw the promotional strategies behind Ken Burns’ The Civil War and Baseball. She also developed PBS’s iconic children’s programming, including Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? and Barney & Friends. Lawson was the creator and an executive producer of the primetime PBS series Africa and the documentary Security versus Liberty: The Other War. She served on the boards of both PBS and American Public Television.

“This is an exciting time in public media, when technological advances make possible new ways to access and experience the quality and beauty of our content. I look forward to experiencing some of these coming innovations from my new vantage point,” Lawson said.

Bruce Theriault’s contributions at CPB include expanding public media’s journalism capacity through collaborative models involving 105 stations in 37 states. To engage new audiences, he encouraged innovation and championed the creation of cross-platform media content while fostering diversity among public media’s talent and voices.

“I remain excited and bullish on the essential role that public media plays in meeting the informational, cultural and educational needs of communities across the country. It has been my honor to help advance that mission in this rapidly evolving media environment,” he said.

Theriault previously served for 13 years as senior vice president at Public Radio International, was a co-managing director at Public Radio Capital (now PMC), general manager at stations in Alaska, and co-founding president of Alaska Public Radio Network. He also helped establish and chaired the National Federation of Community Broadcasters.  

During seven years as CPB’s Senior Vice President for Diversity & Innovation, Joseph Tovares has provided strategic guidance and leadership to advance innovation and inclusion in public media. Tovares is an award-winning producer who began his public media career at Kentucky Educational Television and later worked at KLRU in Austin and KLRN in San Antonio. He came to CPB from WGBH Boston, where he served as part of the editorial team at American Experience and was the director of New Media for the award-winning series. At WGBH, he also served as executive producer for La Plaza, the Latino production unit.

About the Corporation for Public Broadcasting

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide. CPB is also the largest single source of funding for research, technology and program development for public radio, television and related online services. For more information, visit www.cpb.org.