President and General Manager
This month, we’re starting off with a plethora of music shows, and it’s quite a good fit, isn’t it? After all, Las Vegas has been host to residencies and legendary performances from the world’s most renowned and celebrated artists.
It was at the International, now the Westgate, where Elvis Presley made his triumphant return to live performing, and on Sunday, March 5 at 4 p.m., we’re excited to air the Elvis Presley: ‘68 Comeback Special, with the “King of Rock and Roll” clad in the famous black leather suit and singing all the hits. Luther Vandross made a stop at the Mandalay Bay many years ago, but you can catch him on Luther Vandross - Always and Forever: An Evening of Songs at the Royal Albert Hall on Tuesday, March 7 at 10:30 p.m. And of course, who could forget Celine Dion’s residency here? Watch the “Queen of Las Vegas” give a globe-stopping performance on Celine Dion: Taking Chances: World Tour - The Concert on Saturday, March 11 at 9:30 p.m. Stick around after for Rod Stewart - Live at Royal Albert Hall at 11 p.m.
“After all, Las Vegas has been host to residencies and legendary performances from the world’s most renowned and celebrated artists."
Those looking for live entertainment, worry not! Check out Page 11 for our latest ticket offers. I’m excited for the Daniel Emmet & Pia Toscano Concert at the Westgate in June and Joe Bonamassa at the Cosmopolitan in August. The Beatty day trip is also looking like it might be my next outdoor excursion.
Caesars Palace has been the host of many historic moments, from stunt jumps to prize fights, but a new documentary presented by Independent Lens tells of a massive protest in the 1970s at the resort which the city had never quite seen before. Activist Ruby Duncan is at the center of Storming Caesars Palace, the story of how a group of mothers defied notions of the “welfare queen,” pushed for universal basic income, and advocated for greater social safety nets. Premieres
Monday, March 20 at 10 p.m.
The inviting weather of spring is just around the corner, reminding me of a particular Regency-era seaside resort. Sanditon on MASTERPIECE, the fan-favorite show inspired by Jane Austen’s unfinished novel, is back on Sunday, March 19 at 9 p.m. In the third and final season, high-spirited heroine Charlotte Heywood returns to the seaside resort with her fiancé for the society event of the year. But the reunion brings surprises and drama for all the attendees. Familiar faces and new make up the cast for the riveting conclusion of this series. Call the Midwife also returns on Sunday, March 19 at 8 p.m. Now in its twelfth season, the town of Poplar returns to a relative normal after tragedy, but change is still on the horizon. Medical advancements alter how Nonnatus House operates, relationships are tested and the arrival of a new midwife ruffles some feathers.
I love walking through my community. The sharp contrast between the energy and excitement on the Strip and the near-bucolic rhythm of my neighborhood gives me the time to reflect on how fortunate we are to live in a region that has so much to offer. It also gives me time to think of all of you – the supporters, members, viewers, major donors and partners who give Vegas PBS the support that enables us to provide programming and services to nearly two-thirds of Nevada. It is our pleasure and privilege to work for you, and I hope you enjoy all that March has to offer!
All the best,
President and General Manager
Mary Mazur is President and General Manager of Vegas PBS and the first woman to lead the station in its 53-year history. In her position she oversees Vegas PBS’ overall strategic direction and the management of day-to-day affairs across all business units. She also serves as the executive director of the Southern Nevada Public Television (SNPT) Board of Directors. An award-winning television executive, Mazur was previously general manager of Arizona PBS. Under her leadership, Arizona PBS produced 120 hours of news content annually, and launched two new local programs, receiving multiple regional Emmy nominations and awards.
Prior to joining Arizona PBS, Mazur was executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Los Angeles-based KCETLink Media Group. There, she oversaw KCET’s move to a new state-of-the-art facility and was a member of the executive team that guided the successful merger between KCET and LinkTV to form the KCETLink Media Group.
Mazur was the executive producer for KCET’s nationally distributed programs A Place of Our Own and its Spanish language companion Los Niños en SuCasa. Under her direction as chief content officer for KCET, the station received more than 380 awards for programming, including four George Foster Peabody Awards and three Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards. Mazur herself is the recipient of two Peabody Awards, a duPont Award and a regional Emmy Award. Prior to joining KCETLink Media Group, Mazur was senior vice president of series development at Cosgrove/Meurer Productions, and prior to that served in a similar role at Patchett Kaufman Entertainment. A graduate of Santa Clara University, Mazur also has worked in program development for both the NBC and CBS networks.
Education Services and Business Development Director
Dr. Niki Bates is the Director of Education Services and Business Development. In her position, Dr. Bates provides supervision, strategic direction and innovative leadership for the station’s educational outreach beyond the broadcast and unique services that have been developed to assist Nevada’s public, private, charter and home schools, such as: a media library for families with special needs; early learning parent engagement workshops; teacher training and online classroom materials; K-12 programs and initiatives; and more. With more than 28 years of experience, Dr. Bates’ passion is education, and she is unwavering in her commitment to serving schools and the community. She holds a Master of Special Education degree and a Doctoral Educational Leadership degree with a minor in curriculum development. Dr. Bates also holds an executive certificate in leadership and management.
Sal Carrera is the Director of Development. Carrera oversees the short-term and long-term fundraising strategies for the station, including membership, major gifts, corporate partnerships, planned giving, grants and other philanthropic efforts. He is also responsible for cultivating funder relationships with individuals, corporations and foundations looking to support Vegas PBS in various areas including corporate underwriting, productions, educational workshops, emergency communications, capital equipment and more. Prior to Vegas PBS, Carrera worked for a large media company in Santa Monica, CA, Las Vegas, NV, and Denver, CO, in various capacities including research and local and national sales. For over a decade, he blended that love for broadcasting with education and led an innovative K-12 public school outreach model in ten languages designed to engage parents through events, web streaming, social media, radio, television and newspaper. Carrera is originally from Carpentaria, California, where he attended Cate High School and later, the University of California, Santa Barbara.
Digital Marketing Director
Terry Chi is the Digital Marketing Director. She oversees several teams including communications and branding and digital projects, across print and digital media, including the website and mobile app. She also manages the development of original content and online marketing campaigns that drive member donations and increase brand awareness. Prior to joining Vegas PBS, Chi spent much of her career in consumer packaged goods brand management and strategic marketing planning. More recently at Caesars Entertainment, Chi was instrumental in developing some of the largest revenue-generating digital initiatives in history. Chi holds a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Master of Business Administration from UCLA Anderson School of Management. She is a 2021 graduate of Leadership Las Vegas, and serves as a Clark County AAPI Community Commissioner and Board Member of the Vegas Theatre Company.
Program Development, Acquisitions and Scheduling Director
Natalie Cullen is the Director of Program Development, Acquisitions and Scheduling. She is responsible for content development and production across all platforms. She also oversees the broadcast schedule and acquisitions. Previously, Cullen was the executive producer for “Nevada Week.” Before working at Vegas PBS, she spent several years as the online editor for Nevada Public Radio. Prior to that, she spent 20 years at KLAS-TV Channel 8 in Las Vegas. While there, she produced almost every newscast at the station, along with special projects, and served as the morning show executive producer.
Cullen received her degree in broadcast journalism from Brigham Young University.
Fiscal Management Director
Brandon Merrill is the Fiscal Management Director. Merrill is responsible for all aspects of fiscal management including budgeting, financial reporting, grant management and compliance with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). He has worked in both the private and public sector with a significant understanding of both GASB and FASB reporting. Merrill graduated from Southern Utah University with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and continued his education at Arizona State University, receiving his Master of Business Administration. He has been with Vegas PBS since 2011 and with the Clark County School District since 2005. Merrill and his wife are the lucky parents to six beautiful daughters and one son. He enjoys spending time with his family, being in the outdoors, being actively involved with his community and church, and seems to always be working on a home improvement project.
Workforce Training and Economic Development Director
Debra Solt is the Director of Workforce Training and Economic Development. In her position, Solt manages the station’s high stakes testing center which proctors exams for licensed occupations, high school completion and job qualifications. As part of the station’s workforce initiative, her department’s programs add capacity to Vegas PBS’ existing workforce system by offering candidates the choice to complete online programs. Solt is known nationally and internationally as a specialist in partnering with business and industry for the development and implementation of customized workforce programs that produce measurable results for clients and the community-at-large. Prior to joining Vegas PBS, Solt spent over fourteen years in higher education in Nevada and Washington State.
Chief of Broadcast Operations and Emergency Response
John Turner is the Chief of Broadcast Operations and Emergency Response systems. Turner supervises all informational technology, engineering and emergency response functions. He also directs technical planning and the direction of Vegas PBS’ broadcast systems. Turner is an Emmy award winning television manager with over 30 years in commercial television news. Turner has received Emmy and Telly awards for his news coverage during the Persian Gulf War, Los Angeles riots, Northridge Earthquake, trial of O.J. Simpson and Hurricane Katrina. He previously worked at KLAS-TV as the Assistant Chief Engineer and Director of News Operations, as well as for KVVU-TV as the Assistant Chief Engineer. Turner holds a Master of Forensic Psychology degree from the University of Southern California. He sits on the Local Emergency Planning Commission (LEPC) as the media representative and co-chairs the PIO position. He has also served as a Reserve Police Officer for the Boulder City Police, staff at Disney Parks, and Technical Director for the Rams football team and Angels baseball team.