MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT | October 2021
New Drama Leads the Way in October
Drama lovers rejoice! We have new seasons of your favorite shows throughout October. We will see more of the ever effervescent Trixie and her fellow midwives in Season 10 of Call the Midwife, premiering on Sunday, October 3, at 8 p.m. Set in 1966, this season takes us back to a testing time for midwives. But there is excitement too, as the intensity of the women’s rights movement intensifies. Be prepared to settle in because immediately following Call the Midwife, Grantchester Season 6 on Masterpiece premieres at 9 p.m. The improbable crime fighting team returns, bringing justice and spiritual nourishment to 1950s England.
“Throughout the year, our schedule
We have a brand-new series making its debut on Vegas PBS this month. Check out The Indian Doctor on Saturday, October 9, at 6:45 p.m. In this dramedy set in the 1960s, a South Wales coal mining community is changed forever following the death of the local doctor, whose replacement comes as quite a shock to the villagers. High-flying Delhi graduate Dr. Prem Sharma and his wife, Kamini, eschew a glamorous lifestyle in London for the sleepy Welsh village of Trefelin. Once in Wales, they quickly become embroiled in the lives of the villagers, although the regal Kamini is determined they are leaving as soon as possible. We hope you will enjoy this clever new series.
New episodes of Outdoor Nevada continue throughout the month of October, on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. This month John Burke visits the Cowboy Art and Gear Museum in Elko, Spooner and Margaret Lakes in South Lake Tahoe, the Kit Carson Trail and more.
Throughout the year, our schedule includes programming that celebrates our diversity, and this month you’ll find an array of titles for Hispanic Heritage Month. You’ll be entertained and inspired by greats such as Gloria Estefan, Raúl Juliá, and Rita Moreno and you’ll discover stories that will make you think with titles like POV: Fruits of Labor and Becoming Johanna. Community is at the heart of what makes Vegas PBS the beacon of public service in Southern Nevada. All of these opportunities, over the air and beyond the broadcast, could not be made possible without you. Thank you for being a loyal member and supporter of our mission and purpose.
Be sure to check out our community page for our latest concert tickets and events. If you haven’t reserved your spot yet, you still have time to attend our Vegas PBS Annual Tea. This year it’s happening on Saturday, December 11, at 10 a.m. at the Four Seasons Hotel. Lucy Worsley will join us live via Zoom, to take you into the life, the palaces, and the rich colorful age of Queen Victoria. Sponsored by Janice Allen, all guests will enjoy tea, sweets, savories and entertainment and then take home a souvenir tea cup and saucer.
As a public service, we are committed to serving the community through television and education — your continued support makes it all possible. Thank you for trusting us to carry forward this mission through the various high-tech, high-touch experiences we provide.
All the best,
Vegas PBS Leadership | Bios
Mary Mazur is President 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.
Business and Finance Manager
Brandon Merrill is the Business and Finance Manager. 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.
Communications and Brand Management Director
Allison P. Monette is the Director of Communications and Brand Management. In her role, Monette directs strategic communication, branding and marketing for all station initiatives, programming and events. She is also responsible for managing the station’s paid and earned media efforts, print, digital and social media platforms. A bilingual communications professional, Monette began her career as a television news reporter for the NBC affiliate KNDU-TV in Washington state. After leaving the newsroom, she focused on helping nonprofits and government agencies advance their missions through strategic communications, digital marketing and social media initiatives. Prior to joining Vegas PBS, Monette worked with organizations including the United Way of Southern Nevada, the Nevada Attorney General’s Office, the Clark County School District and more. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and Spanish from the University of San Diego and Master of Communication Management degree from the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Monette is a member of the Junior League of Las Vegas, the Public Relations Society of America and American Marketing Association Las Vegas Chapters. She has received various PRSA Pinnacle Awards and been featured in Real Vegas Magazine Women Who Wow and Las Vegas Woman Magazine 2019 Local Leaders.
Cyndy Robbins is the Director of Content. First joining the station in 2007, Robbins oversees several departments including traffic, programming, and communications. Robbins began her career in public media at Nebraska Educational Television, serving as the assistant to the Ready To Learn specialist. After receiving her master’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, she joined the staff at Iowa Public Television, where she spent 10 years working in programming. Robbins was named Chair of the PBS Programming Advisory Council in March 2021 and serves on the PBS Pledge Advisory Council, the PBS KIDS Leadership Council and American Public Television’s (APT) Pledge Advisory Group. She also served on the PBS Development Advisory Committee (DAC), Marketing Advisory Committee (MAC), as well as the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) Programming Council and the Public Television Programmers’ Association (PTPA) board. Robbins is a graduate of the Las Vegas Metro Chamber's Leadership Las Vegas and has received several awards, including a PBS Development Inspiration Award for the “Do Your Part” campaign, a Golden Grid Award, a regional Emmy, numerous Pinnacle Awards, and has been featured in VEGAS INC. and Las Vegas Woman.
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.
Engineering, IT and Emergency Response Director
John Turner is the Director of Engineering, IT 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.