President and General Manager
MESSAGE FROM OUR PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER | September 2023
In an era of diverse and compelling television content, Vegas PBS continues to shine with an exceptional lineup of programs that captivate and inspire audiences of all backgrounds. From crime-solving dramas to enlightening documentaries, on air, streaming live on our website, and via Passport, we consistently strive to deliver top-notch entertainment that broadens perspectives.
“As we celebrate the power of storytelling and
Hispanic Heritage Month begins Friday, September 15. We’re proud to present a schedule that celebrates the rich tapestry of Hispanic heritage and culture. I am particularly looking forward to Becoming Frida Kahlo. This is a new three-part series that will strip away the myths to reveal the real Frida — a passionate and brilliant artist living through extraordinary times. The program airs on Tuesdays, September 19, 26 and October 3 at 9 p.m. Also of note is the 36th Hispanic Heritage Awards on Friday, September 29 at 9 p.m. This inspiring event showcases the resilience, artistry and achievements of the Hispanic community. Right after, don’t miss A Song for Cesar: American Masters on Friday, September 29 at 10 p.m. This poignant film delves into the life and legacy of a man who fought tirelessly for the rights of farmworkers, leaving an indelible mark on the struggle for justice and equality.
This fall, prepare yourself for some of the best drama on television. We have three premieres on Sunday, September 3. At 8 p.m. it's Professor T. Professor Tempest and the team untangle a series of knotty crimes utilizing the professor’s unconventional methods. Then at 9 p.m. we keep the drama going with Unforgotten on MASTERPIECE. DI Sunny Khan’s team is back to work, starting with the discovery of human remains in a newly renovated period property. Is this a murder dating back to the 1930s or has the body been disposed of in more recent times? Finally, at 10 p.m., Van der Valk on MASTERPIECE returns. Set in the picturesque streets of Amsterdam, the show follows Detective Piet Van der Valk as he unravels complex cases with a brilliant and unyielding mind.
I’m excited to share that America Outdoors with Baratunde Thurston returns for a second season on Wednesday, September 6 at 9 p.m.! New episodes will take viewers along for some unique experiences of the outdoors, including a hands-on study of endangered snapping turtles in the Suwannee River, paragliding above the Great Salt Lake to document its vanishing act and farming oysters in Maine the old fashioned way.
And don’t forget! Be My Neighbor Day is on Saturday, October 7 at The Lawn at Downtown Summerlin! This community-focused day of kindness features a variety of vendors, activities and appearances from beloved PBS KIDS characters Daniel Tiger and Katerina Kittycat! For more information, visit vegaspbs.org/bemyneighborday.
As we celebrate the power of storytelling and the human experience, these programs stand as prime examples of our commitment to presenting diverse and thought-provoking content. So, I invite you to tune in as we explore the triumphs, struggles, and moments of beauty that define the unifying power of storytelling. Thank you for your support.
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
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.
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.