President and General Manager
MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER | September 2022
Stories of Culture
Fall is a special time of year, isn’t it? Classes have resumed, temperatures are beginning to drop and at Vegas PBS we are getting ready to roll out some of our best events and programming.
First, I’d like to begin by announcing an exciting collaboration with Nevada Public Radio to host a series of political debates. Nevada Decides will cover the issues that will play a critical role in our state’s midterm elections and will be simulcast on 88.9 KNPR and Vegas PBS 10.1. On a national level, PBS NewsHour will bring you regular updates on the races for seats in the Senate and House. As we approach Election Day, be sure to check vegaspbs.org for the latest updates.
“You can rely on Vegas PBS to be here
Daniel Tiger Be My Neighbor Day returns once again to the Lawn at Downtown Summerlin on Saturday, September 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This free, fun-filled day allows attendees to engage in acts of kindness and take part in family-friendly activities. PBS KIDS' beloved characters Daniel Tiger and Katerina Kittycat will be on stage for guest appearances throughout the day. Visit vegaspbs.org/bemyneighborday for more information. See you there!
In order to bring you more of your favorite shows, there will be a small adjustment to our daytime schedule. Starting Monday, September 5, the weekday children’s lineup on 10.1 will end at 1 p.m. and general audience programming will move up to take its place. The VEGAS PBS KIDS 10.3 schedule will continue to offer the same, great 24/7 PBS KIDS lineup, and activities will still be available on-demand with the PBS KIDS Video and PBS KIDS Games apps.
With more of us working remotely after the pandemic, many have taken this as an opportunity for home improvement. Some have even gone so far as to buy unique but dilapidated homes and bring them back to their former glory. That’s exactly what Dick Strawbridge and his partner Angel Adoree did on Escape to the Chateau. Starting on Friday, September 9 at 11 p.m., watch as the U.K. couple renovate a 45-room chateau in northern France that has no electricity, water or proper plumbing. After powering through six fixer uppers with my husband, I tip my hat to a couple willing to take on 45 rooms all at once!
September 15 marks the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, which is when we celebrate the diversity of the Spanish-speaking world. We are getting a head start on Friday, September 2, at 9 p.m., Raúl Julia: The World’s A Stage: American Masters explores the life and career of the beloved actor from Shakespearean plays to “The Addams Family.” On Wednesday, September 21 at 11 p.m., La Frontera with Pati Jinich follows the James Beard Award-winning chef to the U.S.-Mexico border where she experiences the region’s rich cuisine. Starting Thursday, September 22 at 3:30 p.m., Wonders of Mexico explores the amazing wildlife and culture of Mexico from the Yucatan to the deserts in Sonora. Be sure to tune in on Friday, September 30 at 9 p.m. for the 35th Hispanic Heritage Awards, followed by Great Performances: Roots of Latin Jazz at 10 p.m.
This month also sees the release of the latest project from famed documentarian Ken Burns, The U.S. and the Holocaust. Produced by Burns, Lynn Novick & Sarah Botstein, this program examines the rise of Hitler and Nazism in Germany in the context of global antisemitism and racism, the eugenics movement in the United States and race laws in the American south. The series sheds light on what the U.S. government and American people knew and did as the catastrophe unfolded in Europe. The three part series begins on Sunday, September 18 at 8 p.m.
You can rely on Vegas PBS to be here whenever you’re looking for quality entertainment, educational services or engaging events. Thank you for supporting us and enabling us to explore the new phenomena of our times and tell the important stories that we can’t forget. Here’s to an exciting season ahead!
All the best,
Vegas PBS Leadership | Bios
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.
Dr. Niki Bates
Educational Media Services Director
Dr. Niki Bates is the Director of Educational Media Services. 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.
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.