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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


Notes From History

This month, Great Performances celebrates its 50th anniversary. I remember my grandmother making sure we didn’t miss the episode featuring the great Arthur Rubinstein. She was so happy to introduce me to his genius, as I’m sure this series has done for many others through the years. Knowing that decades worth of legendary performances are now available on-demand is nothing short of a wonder.

To mark this milestone, enjoy Great Performances: Celebrating 50 Years of Broadway's Best, a show-stopping performance on Friday, May 12 at 9 p.m. This special, hosted by two-time Tony Award-winner Sutton Foster, presents a revue of remarkable shows and songs from 1973 to 2023. With performances by André de Shields, Robyn Hurder, Jane Krakowski, Norm Lewis, Donna McKechnie, Betty Buckley, Jessie Mueller, Chita Rivera, Vanessa Williams and many more.

“We strive to bring you a variety of programs that showcase our national identity and history, while also sharing spectacular experiences from across the world."

May 8-12 is Teacher Appreciation Week. I’m proud that Vegas PBS not only helps foster an educated community in Southern Nevada through educational programming, but also through a variety of services like our Learning Neighborhood Van and Ready To Learn Workshops. Series like Student Spotlight recognize not only exceptional students, but also the teachers who help them succeed. We want to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude for our educators in the Clark County School District. Thank you.

If you’re feeling the heat beginning to creep in, take an escape to the brisk climate of Northern Europe. Wild Scandinavia takes you to three iconic Scandinavian landscapes: the hauntingly beautiful coast, the magical seasonal forests and the volcanic and arctic extremes. Surprising wildlife stories of lynx, puffins, orcas and wolves reveal the resilient spirit of Scandinavia. Wednesdays at 8 p.m., beginning May 10.

On Monday, May 22 at 10 p.m., a new Independent Lens documentary turns the dial back to 1960s Sacramento, where two Filipina American sisters got together with other teenage girls to play music. Little did they know their garage band would evolve into the legendary rock group Fanny, the first all-women band to release an LP with a major record label. Fanny: The Right to Rock recounts the early days of this music group to their reunion 50 years later. The film includes interviews with a large cadre of music icons, including Def Leppard's Joe Elliott, Bonnie Raitt, The Go-Go's Kathy Valentine, Todd Rundgren, The Runaways' Cherie Currie, Lovin' Spoonful's John Sebastian, The B52's saxophonist Kate Pierson, Charles Neville and David Bowie collaborators guitarist Earl Slick and bassist Gail Ann Dorsey

The tradition continues as PBS brings you the 2023 National Memorial Day Concert on Sunday, May 28 at 8 p.m. Hosted by Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise, this event honors our country’s veterans, recognizing the sacrifices made by those who have answered the call to serve.

We strive to bring you a variety of programs that showcase our national identity and history while also sharing spectacular experiences from across the world. Your ongoing support is a testament to the power of public media and empowers us to continue delivering quality content. Thank you for making it all happen.

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. 

Salvador Carrera

Development Director 

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.

Terry Chi

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.

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.