The Visionaries of Public Television

April 7th, 2009

from: Neal Shapiro, President & CEO,

Terrel Cass, January 2009

Terrel Cass has just announced he is leaving his post as President and General Manager of public television station WLIW21 after 20 years on the job. That got me to thinking about the many passionate men and women who – like Terrel – have dedicated themselves to the mission and potential of public broadcasting.

During his long career, Terrel created some completely new kinds of programming for public media. I think of the Visions series that WLIW21 has turned into such a successful franchise. Those stunning HD flyovers of the world’s most spectacular and historic sites are immediately identifiable and immensely popular. Terrel made that happen. It was an experiment. And it was public media that allowed that experiment to take place and succeed.

Visions is a great name for the series that Terrel brought to life. And it’s a title that makes me think about the visionary ingenuity and entrepreneurship we find throughout public broadcasting. Men and women with unique vision are at work in every corner of our nation, ever expanding the potential of public media. People like that — people like Terrel — make public media so rich, diverse and fascinating.

I’m happy to know that Terrel’s going to continue working with WNET.ORG’s media companies and on his own to create more great public media content for everyone to enjoy. And it’s exciting to think about all the other creative folks out there like Terrel just waiting to make their mark on public media tomorrow. Here’s to having a vision.