Steven Bass serves as president and chief executive officer of Oregon Public Broadcasting since January 1, 2006. An independent, non-profit organization, OPB operates a network of a fifteen radio stations providing news & information, a full-time jazz station operated in partnership with Mt. Hood Community College and five television stations and dozens of translators that provide broadcast service to 85% of Oregon’s population as well as a significant number in Southwest Washington.
During his tenure, OPB established Earthfix, a CPB-funded local journalism center with six public broadcasting partners covering the environment and the Northwest News Partnership, which is a collaborative content-sharing partnership with nearly 40 newspapers, television and radio stations, and other media in the region.
OPB’s work has been recognized with the most prestigious awards for journalism in recent years. In 2009, OPB was awarded the prestigious DuPont-Columbia journalism award for the television documentary, The Silent Invasion. In 2010, OPB was awarded a Peabody Award for its radio series, Hard Times. Both of these programs were produced in, about and for Oregon.
Serving previously as founding president & CEO of Nashville Public Television for seven years, he oversaw that station’s transition from government ownership to become an independent, non-profit public television station. While at NPT, he served as executive producer of Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues, which was broadcast on PBS in June 2004 as part of the American Masters series and in December 2004 on the BBC Arena series, and released on home video by Universal.
Prior to joining NPT, Bass served as vice president & manager of television stations for WGBH/Boston, where he led the development of the nightly news program, Greater Boston, that remains on the air to this day. Prior to his service with WGBH, Bass spent nine years with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in Washington, DC.
He served as chairman of the board of the Association of Public Television Stations, and a member of the board of directors of National Public Radio. He currently serves on the boards of directors of the Public Radio International, the Oregon Symphony, the Oregon East Symphony, and Portland Summer Ensembles. Outside of work, he is an active freelance clarinetist playing with the Vancouver (WA) Symphony Orchestra, the Oregon East Symphony, the Siletz Bay Music Festival and others. His work appears on the September 2013 CD “Get Happy” with Pink Martini.
He holds a bachelor's degree from Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, with majors in economics and music. He also holds a Master of Arts in business from the University of Wisconsin's Graduate School of Business.
He and his wife, Sara, have two daughters.