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Vegas PBS Leadership

Vegas PBS Leadership

Debra Solt | Workforce Training and Economic Development Director

Debra Solt

Workforce Training and Economic Development Director

John Turner | Chief of Broadcast Operations and Emergency Response

John Turner

Chief of Broadcast Operations and
Emergency Response


Warm Welcome

In the 1970s, WPBT, a PBS member station in Florida, launched ¿Qué Pasa, USA? (Spanish for “What’s Happening, USA?”), a bilingual sitcom that told the story of a Cuban-American family adjusting to life in Miami. It was a springboard for young actors like Steven Bauer and Andy Garcia, and the use of code-switching made it a first of its kind on American television. In 2002, when I was Chief Content Officer at KCET in Los Angeles, we brought American Family to PBS stations across the country. Breaking ground again, American Family was the first drama series featuring a Latino cast to ever air on broadcast television.

"Whatever brings you to Vegas PBS, I want you to know that your dedication and support is what sustains our mission."

While sitcoms and contemporary scripted dramas may not be the first things you think of when thinking about PBS programs, the underlying ethos is in perfect alignment with the mission and goal of public broadcasting: to reflect, represent and serve all members of the public. The Hispanic population in Clark County has climbed from single digits in the midcentury to now about 34%. The first non-Native American on record to explore the Las Vegas Valley was Mexican scout Rafael Rivera, who has a street named after him in the southwestern portion of Las Vegas. “Las Vegas” itself is a phrase borrowed from the Spanish language.

Bienvenidos a Las Vegas (Welcome to Las Vegas), the newest Vegas PBS Original, is a powerful and engaging documentary exploring the history of Hispanic and Latino communities in Southern Nevada, be they entrepreneurs, entertainers or activists. This program commemorates the stories of Hispanic and Latino Las Vegans and their incredible tales of persistence and ingenuity. We specialize in connecting communities with each other and this is one more way we can celebrate our neighbors’ histories.

I can’t talk about Bienvenidos a Las Vegas without also giving kudos and recognition to host and producer, Maria Silva. A lifelong Las Vegan, Silva has had a consistent newsbeat on the development and evolution of Vegas. That experience, combined with her unbridled enthusiasm, brings a specialized expertise that you frankly won’t find anywhere else.

Tune in on Tuesday, April 23 at 9 p.m. to watch Bienvenidos a Las Vegas, find it online at, or stream it on the PBS App.

Vegas All In also continues this month, featuring the people who make Las Vegas a world-renowned city. One of my favorite segments on the show so far features UNLV history professor Michael Green delivering a fascinating biography of the Sahara casino. Check the primetime schedules for episode dates, or visit

I’d also like to thank everyone who came out to The Big Party! It was a wonderful evening celebrating the power of public media to make a difference in the world.

Whatever brings you to Vegas PBS, I want you to know that your dedication and support is what sustains our mission. Without you, there’d be no engine to drive us ahead into the future of service and storytelling. Thank you for watching and thank you for your support.

All the best,
Mary Mazur

Vegas PBS Leadership | Bios

Mary Mazur

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. 

Terry Chi

Digital Marketing Director 

Terry Chi is the Digital Marketing Director. She oversees graphic design, event planning, and communications and branding across traditional and digital media. Prior to joining Vegas PBS, Chi spent much of her career in consumer packaged goods brand management. More recently, Chi oversaw the Caesars Rewards mobile app and was instrumental in developing some of the largest revenue-generating digital initiatives at Caesars Entertainment. Chi holds a Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Master of Business Administration from UCLA Anderson. She was appointed by Mayor Goodman to the Las Vegas Arts Commission for a four-year term starting January 2024, and serves on the Superintendent’s Anti-Racism, Equity & Inclusion Advisory Committee, the National PBS Marketing Advisory Council, and the Vegas Theatre Company Board. She is a 2021 graduate of Leadership Las Vegas, and served as a Clark County AAPI Community Commissioner.

Natalie Cullen

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. 

Brandon Merrill

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.

Debra Solt

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.

John Turner

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.