The Board of Directors of Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) announced today that it has selected a veteran broadcast executive, television producer and one-time performance musician as OPB’s next president and chief executive officer.
Steven M. Bass, 48, will move into the top job at OPB, succeeding Maynard Orme who is retiring after a distinguished 19-year career as OPB’s chief executive.
Bass has served as president and CEO of Nashville Public Television since 1998.
“What I’ve always enjoyed about Steve is his energy, his passion and his deep commitment to public broadcasting,” Orme said. “I look forward to working with him during this transition.”
Previously, Bass was vice president and manager of television stations for WGBH in Boston, Massachusetts. He oversaw a three-station network serving the entire state.
In Boston, Bass was responsible for improving the station’s local programming. He launched “Greater Boston,” a nightly public affairs program that has been a successful model for similar broadcasts nationwide.
Bass was vice president and general manager at WGBY in Springfield, Massachusetts from 1992 through 1995. Prior to his posts in New England, Bass worked for the fund-raising arm of the Public Broadcasting Service in Washington, D.C.
“It is a tremendous credit to Maynard and all those who make OPB so successful that we attracted a gifted leader like Steve Bass,” said OPB Board Chair, Doug Tunnell. “Steve is truly one of public broadcasting’s brightest lights.”
In Nashville, Bass oversaw the station’s transition from a government-owned service to an independent, community-operated public television station. Bass also served as executive producer on a number of programs broadcast on PBS, including: Bill Monroe: The Legend Lives On (2003); Christmas at Belmont (2003); Hank Williams: Honky Tonk Blues (American Masters & BBC, 2004); and The Carter Family (American Experience, 2005).
Bass is a graduate of Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, where he received his bachelor’s degree in economics and in music in 1979. He worked as a professional clarinet player and earned an MA in business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981.
Bass and his wife Sara have two daughters; Catie, 14 and Caroline, 11. Bass is expected to move into the job at OPB in early 2006.
Oregon Public Broadcasting is a statewide network of community-supported learning resources, including OPB Television, an affiliate of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), and OPB Radio, presenting local news coverage and the programs of National Public Radio (NPR), Public Radio International (PRI) and American Public Media (APM). The OPB Web site is opb.org.