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In the top left corner fingers strum a cello.
Upon scrolling, the photo flips to country star Dolly Parton standing next to WGBH Arts Editor Jared Bowen.
In the bottom left corner is a veiled filmmaker Waad al-Kateab pointing her video camera out from an upper story window to a rubble-filled street in Aleppo, Syria.
Upon scrolling, the photo flips to one of a man, Arun Rath, Executive Editor/Host of All Things Considered on 89.7FM WGBH News, sitting at the microphone in the WGBH News Radio studio.
In the top right corner, a young boy, at an event at the Boston Public Library, holds a crayon and looks up from his coloring of a drawing from Molly of Denali.
Upon scrolling, the photo flips to an animated scene from Molly of Denali of Alaska Native Molly and her two friends in a canoe.
In the bottom right corner is the Sun and the planets.
Upon scrolling, the photo flips to a portrait of Justin Schaifer, a science enthusiast and host of WGBH’s Escape Lab.

Opportunity & Equity

At WGBH, our doors are wide open, literally and figuratively, allowing for the free exchange of ideas, experiences and voices. Such vibrant reciprocity is the essence of our mission. We depend on members of our community—across ages, demographic groups and geographies—to enrich our storytelling, services and events.

This annual report documents a year of deepening our commitment to delivering programs that foster opportunity and equity. In addition to delivering the excellence and quality that define our signature programs, we are engaging with new audiences on innovative platforms, redoubling our efforts to meet our diverse audiences where they are.

This year we crossed an important threshold by creating the multimedia program Molly of Denali, the first nationally distributed children's series to feature an Alaska Native lead character. More than 60 Native production advisors were at our side to ensure that the content was inclusive and representative.

We are continually opening our doors in new places. Our news bureau in Worcester and the addition to the WGBH family of New England Public Media in western Massachusetts enable our coverage to reach across the Commonwealth from Springfield to Cape Cod and the Islands.

Other doors are virtual: This year WGBH became the first mission-centered educational media outlet to engage with the Twitch platform—where millions of young people converge every day—bringing alive our interactive science content for the next generation.

We are only going to thrive as a community and a society if we continue to engage and evolve with open minds and hearts. We are on a quest driven by curiosity—yours and ours. Let’s take the journey together.

Jon Abbott signature Jonathan C. Abbott
President and CEO
Ann Fudge signature Ann Fudge
Chair, WGBH Board of Trustees

Journalism

At a time when many news outlets are struggling, WGBH News is growing. By making news freely accessible to everyone on the exciting array of platforms available, we create opportunities for all to engage as informed citizens in the important issues of the day.

This year, we continued to connect the Commonwealth by expanding our coverage and opening new doors in central and western Massachusetts and welcoming the New England Center for Investigative Reporting to WGBH. FRONTLINE, our flagship journalism series, celebrated its 35th anniversary and earned an Oscar nomination for the documentary feature film For Sama, a Syrian mother’s heartbreaking account of life in bomb-ravaged Aleppo. At the Boston Public Library our studio doubled its live events, reaching out to tell stories from our communities, streaming interviews and offering digital town halls.

WGBH News Reporter Saraya Wintersmith
WGBH News reporter Saraya Wintersmith

Children’s Media and Education

The mission of public media always has been to open up new worlds to learners of every age with quality programming and resources that are based on educational research and best practices. But many students face systemic barriers to high-quality educational opportunities, resulting in significant academic achievement gaps.

All year round, we work with students, families and educators to develop quality educational television programs, digital media and community programs to reach diverse learners at home, in the community and in classrooms across the country. We furthered our commitment to representation with this year’s debut of Molly of Denali, the first-ever nationally distributed children’s show to feature an Alaska Native as the lead. High School Quiz Show, our televised state and regional academic competition, celebrated its tenth season. We also focused on reaching tweens, an often-overlooked audience, with a new podcast, The Creeping Hour. The eight-episode series topped the Apple podcast chart for kids and families, with more than 200,000 downloads.

The four-member Boston Latin School team is showered with shiny confetti after they win the High School Quiz Show competition
Members of the Boston Latin School team celebrate after they win the High School Quiz Show competition.

Science

Science has critical relevance in all of our lives. As a national leader in exciting and engaging audiences on the impact of science, WGBH creates programs and educational initiatives that bring the stories of science to life and fuel the aspirations of future scientists.

This year, NOVA, our most-watched award-winning multiplatform science series, looked to the skies and offered a mesmerizing five-part film The Planets. To reach the next generation of public media fans, we launched the Emerging Platforms Initiative to pilot a strategic blend of digital projects. With the initiative’s Escape Lab, WGBH became the first public media organization to produce original content for the gaming platform Twitch—which has 55 million monthly active users.

Poppy Northcutt, the first woman to be on staff in the NASA control room, speaks on a panel
Poppy Northcutt, the first woman to be on staff in the NASA control room, spoke at the LBJ Library at a showing of American Experience’s Chasing the Moon.

History, Arts and Culture

Through history, music, art, drama and cooking, WGBH programs help us step into new worlds, allowing us to explore more deeply cultures across the globe. WGBH always has innovated in the arts, starting with our 1955 television-radio simulcast of a live Boston Symphony Orchestra performance—then a nascent technology.

This year, American Experience uncovered hidden stories of the Apollo missions, including a behind-the-scenes look at man’s first steps on the moon. MASTERPIECE treated viewers to a riveting Les Miserables, as ANTIQUES ROADSHOW marked its 500th episode. Our classical radio station 99.5 WCRB celebrated 10 years with WGBH. To take viewers back in time, our archives team premiered a new YouTube series The Rewind, and we broadened our Celtic Sojourn performances to reach individuals with sensory-input challenges.

Rev. Irene Monroe and Rev. Emmett Price III of the All Rev’d Up podcast
Rev. Irene Monroe and Rev. Emmett Price III of the All Rev’d Up podcast.

Financials

Public media is at an exciting, unprecedented juncture as we keep pace with changing technologies and invent programming for our ever-evolving audiences. As we reach out to an increasingly diverse America and interconnected world, our mission has never been more important. Public media truly is for everyone, and we are dedicated to delivering on that promise.

As our finances demonstrate, we are strong and stable in our role as the nation’s premier public media organization and the largest creator of educational and cultural content for PBS. From this position of strength, we are embracing new platforms.

View financials

Leadership

  • Jonathan C. AbbottPresident and Chief Executive Officer
  • Claudia S. PalmerChief Operating Officer
  •   
  • André AlexanderChief Financial Officer and Treasurer
  • Amy AxelrodChief of Staff and Senior Director of Board Relations
  • David BernsteinVice President and General Manager, WGBH Enterprises
    Co-President, PBS Distribution
  • Eric A. BrassClerk of the Corporation Corporate Affairs and Compliance Counsel
  • John BredarVice President for National Programming
  • Tina CassidyChief Marketing Officer
  • Liz ChengGeneral Manager for Television
  • Ann DexterVice President for Human Resources
  • Terry FitzpatrickVice President for Children’s Media and Education
  • Susan L. KantrowitzVice President and General Counsel
  • Robert KempfVice President for Digital Services
  • Evie KintzerExecutive Director, Strategy and Business Development
  • Winifred LenihanVice President for Development
  • James LevyVice President for Financial Planning and Business Services
  • Shane MinerChief Technology Officer
  • Phil RedoGeneral Manager for Radio
  • Suzanne ZellnerVice President of Sponsorship and Membership

  • Ann M. FudgeChair
  • Henry P. Becton, Jr.Vice Chair
  • Marcia W. BlenkoVice Chair
  • Lynn Bay DaytonVice Chair
  • Jonathan C. Abbott
  • Mohamad S. Ali
  • Pam Y. Eddinger
  • Grace K. Fey
  • Benjamin A. Gomez
  • Susan B. Kaplan
  • Ann R. Klee
  • Paul W. Lee
  • William A. Lowell
  • Richard K. Lubin
  • Christopher J. McKown
  • Cathy E. Minehan
  • Martha L. Minow
  • Anthony P. Monaco
  • Elizabeth A. Morningstar
  • Paul R. Murphy
  • M. Lee Pelton
  • Melinda Alliker Rabb
  • Jeffrey F. Rayport
  • L. Rafael Reif
  • Carmichael S. Roberts
  • Cynthia L. Strauss
  • William N. Thorndike, Jr.
  • Stephen K. Wagner

  • Richard M. Burnes, Jr.Chair Emeritus
  • Edith L. DabneyChair Emerita
  • Amos B. Hostetter, Jr.Chair Emeritus
  • Amy Abrams
  • Enid L. Beal
  • Derek C. Bok
  • Frances H. Colburn
  • Nader F. Darehshori
  • Nelson J. Darling, Jr.
  • Laura A. DeBonis
  • Neal F. Finnegan
  • Bink Garrison
  • Richard Grubman
  • Gale R. Guild
  • Ann Gund
  • M Howard Jacobson
  • Anna Faith Jones
  • Marjie Kargman
  • Renée M. Landers
  • Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot
  • Laurence Lesser
  • Oscar Malcolm
  • Pamela A. Mason, EdD
  • Richard S. Milstein, Esq.
  • David G. Mugar
  • Lawrence T. Perera
  • Lia G. Poorvu
  • William F. Pounds
  • Robert A. Radloff
  • John F. Reno
  • Maureen L. Ruettgers
  • Robert Sachs
  • Alan J. Strassman
  • Samuel O. Thier, MD
  • David Ting
  • Sidney Topol
  • Augustus A. White III, MD, PhD
  • Hans P. Ziegler

  • Elizabeth A. MorningstarChair
  • Kirstan Barnett
  • Red Barrett
  • Anita Bekenstein
  • Colin Campbell
  • Laura Cabot Carrigan
  • Janelle Chan
  • Ronald Chandler
  • Francis Chin
  • Brian Chu
  • Ingrid Chung
  • Chris Coburn
  • Philip Condon
  • Stacy Cowan
  • Elizabeth Coxe
  • Sally Currier
  • Mike Fanning
  • Ken Gabriel
  • Winston Henderson
  • Renee Inomata
  • Michelle Julet
  • Arthur Krieg
  • Karen Levy
  • Johanna Longnecker
  • Diana Markowitz
  • Rodrigo Martinez
  • Michael McCaskey
  • Lisa McDonough
  • Alex Moot
  • Caroline Mortimer
  • Holly Muson
  • Ellen Nussbaum
  • Gillian O’Callaghan
  • Alex Panas
  • Heather Parsons
  • Jonathan Poorvu
  • Betsy Rosen
  • Ralph Sheridan
  • Geoffrey Stein
  • Tanisha Sullivan
  • Jason Talbot
  • Bina Thompson
  • Ravi Vijayaraghavan
  • Donald Ware
  • David Weisner
  • Geoffrey Why
  • Suzanne Wright

  • John J. Alam, MD
  • Maureen Alphonse-Charles
  • Joseph F. Azrack
  • Edye Baker
  • Hope Lincoln Baker
  • Aaron Bates
  • Penny Bragonier
  • Judith A. Brodkin
  • Helen Chin Schlichte
  • Anthony Corey
  • Stephanie Cornell
  • Mary L. Cornille
  • Joan Crowley
  • Martha H.W. Crowninshield
  • F. Davis Dassori
  • Thomas J. DeVesto
  • Jeffrey S. Dover, MD
  • Christine Dunn
  • Ruth Ellen Fitch
  • Janet B. Fitzgibbons
  • Ruthanne Fuller
  • Robert Gallery
  • Miriam Gillitt
  • Steven J. S. Glick
  • Arthur Golden
  • Silvia Gosnell
  • Jonathan B. Green
  • Stephen A. Greyser
  • Jon L. Hagler
  • Daphne Hatsopoulos
  • Catherine E.C. Henn
  • William C.S. Hicks
  • Arthur Hindman
  • Roy A. Hunt III
  • Susan Hunter
  • J. Atwood Ives
  • Mahmud S. Jafri
  • W. Garth Janes
  • Elizabeth B. Johnson
  • Laura A. Johnson
  • Paula A. Johnson, MD
  • Rosemarie Torres Johnson
  • Karen Kaufman
  • Stephen P. Kaufman
  • Omar H. Khudari
  • Ranch C. Kimball
  • Sandra T. King
  • Nancy Klavans
  • Edward H. Ladd
  • Rebecca A. Lee
  • Deborah S. Leighton
  • Alexander D. Leventhal
  • Chuck Longfield
  • Anne R. Lovett
  • Susan Luo
  • Peter S. Lynch
  • Mahmood Malihi
  • Michael A. McCay
  • Chester R. Messer II
  • R.T. Paine Metcalf
  • E. Bradley Meyer
  • Jennifer L. Miller
  • Jane E. Owens
  • Jane M. Pappalardo
  • H. Bradlee Perry
  • Slocumb Hollis Perry
  • Beth K. Pfeiffer
  • Deirdre B. Phillips
  • Myrna Putziger
  • Roderick K. Randall
  • Doug Rauch
  • John R. Regier
  • Pamela G. Remis
  • Will Richmond
  • Elizabeth A. W. Rogers
  • Gloria Rose
  • Harvey Rosenthal
  • Roger Sametz
  • Ann Schwarz
  • Michelle A. Shell, CFA
  • Kathleen B. Sherbrooke
  • Susan P. Stickells
  • May Takayanagi
  • Ann Tenenbaum
  • W. Nicholas Thorndike Rosamond B. Vaule
  • Joan Wallace-Benjamin, PhD
  • Leverett L. Wing
  • Simone S. Winston
  • Nicholas T. Zervas, MD

  • Susan LuoChair
  • Kathleen Ames
  • Edye Baker
  • Michael Barza
  • Lyndsay Charron
  • Anthony Corey
  • Francis Chin
  • Joan Crowley
  • Sally Currier
  • John J. Doyle, Jr.
  • Janet B. Fitzgibbons
  • Edna Kaplan
  • Susan B. Kaplan
  • Marilyn Kucharski
  • Karen Levy
  • William A. Lowell
  • Oscar F. Malcolm
  • Stacey Marino
  • Rodrigo Martinez
  • Lisa McDonough
  • Caroline Mortimer
  • Holly Muson
  • Jane E. Owens
  • Melinda Alliker Rabb
  • Pamela G. Remis
  • Elizabeth A.W. Rogers
  • Gloria Rose
  • Ralph Sheridan
  • Karen Sirkin
  • Cynthia L. Strauss
  • David Weisner
  •  
  • Ex Officio
  • Elizabeth A. Morningstar
  • Ann M. Fudge

  • Steven R. Singer, ChairDana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • Patricia AhernCare Dimensions
  • Jerry AldermanMarsh & McLennan Agency – Northeast
  • Vicki AmalfitanoHarvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
  • Dan AntonellisSuffolk Construction
  • Mike ArminiNortheastern University
  • Christine ArmstrongMorgan Stanley
  • Jane BellCabot Corporation
    Cabot Corporation Foundation, Inc.
  • Scott BernsteinMittcom
  • Carol BrennanMassachusetts Eye and Ear
  • Eric BurtBurt Financial Group
  • Armandina CuevaNetflix
  • Charlie CurtisWelch & Forbes, LLC
  • David DalenaRose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway Conservancy
  • Michelle DavisWentworth Institute of Technology
  • Adrienne Davis-BrodyADB Marketing Communications
  • Bob DuffyMassachusetts Teachers Association
  • Jeff FreedmanSmall Army, A FINN Partners Company
  • Jennifer HarringtonHATCH Marketing, LLC
  • Steve HerskovitzMass General Hospital Cancer Center
  • Sally D. JacksonJackson & Co.
  • Mahmud JafriDover Rug & Home
  • Brian KennyHarvard Business School
  • Sandra T. KingSTKing Associates, LLC
  • Kathy KlinglerBlue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
  • Michael LipsitzSantander US
  • Sandy LishThe Castle Group, Inc.
  • John LooneyNewton-Wellesley Hospital
  • Benjamin MayerSunBug Solar
  • Terence McCourtGreenberg Traurig, LLP
  • Richard A. McKennaAtlantic Strategies
  • Peter MullinSenior Living Residences, LLC
  • Christopher MurphyLahey Health
  • Karen NortonBunker Hill Community College
  • Rick O’ConnorHarvard Pilgrim Health Care
  • Larry O’TooleGentle Giant Moving Company, Inc.
  • Gina PerilleEdward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate
  • Lisa RodericksCambridge Savings Bank
  • Roger SametzSametz Blackstone Associates
  • George G. SchwartzBoston Family Advisors, LLC
  • Lawrence J. Smith, Jr.Wisdom4Hire
  • Todd SperryMuseum of Science
  • Barry SteinbergDirect Tire
  • Amber StepperEvenflo, Inc.
  • Charlotte StreatLiberty Mutual
  • Liam SullivanPowerOptions
  • Kathy VarneyLogMeln
  • Megan WallaceComcast, NorthEast Division
  • Jack WrightCelebrity Series of Boston
  • Roddy YoungBoston Children’s Hospital

  • Steven BelecChair
  • Kirsten SimsChair
  • Sabrina Aviles
  • Anne Bailey Berman
  • Jean-Marie Bonofilio
  • Stacey Brandon
  • Jack Cheng
  • Danielle DeLuca
  • Tania Del Rio Solorzano
  • Susan Fentin
  • R. Cheis Garrus
  • Jennifer Huer
  • Régine Jean-Charles
  • Leah Kelly
  • Caleb Nelson
  • Bharathi Patimalla-Dipali
  • Catherine Philip
  • Desmond Pope
  • Dustin Rennells
  • Amy Schectman
  • Clifford White
  • Emily Yu

  • Amy AbramsPresident, Abrams Foundation
  • Mark ColodnyManaging Director, Warburg Pincus
  • Laura DeBonisFormer Director of Online Sales and Operations, Google
  • Lisa KanebCo-Director, Cambridge Youth Lacrosse
  • Sabina MenschelPresident & Chief Operating Officer, Nardello and Company
  • Paul SaganManaging Director, General Catalyst Partners
  • Emily TowPresident, Tow Foundation

  • Norman R. AugustineRetired Chairman and CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • Henry Becton, Jr.Vice Chair, WGBH Educational Foundation
  • Joshua Boger, Ph.D.Retired Founder and CEO, Vertex Pharmaceuticals
  • Dr. Michael S. BrownNobel Laureate and Paul J. Thomas Professor of Molecular Genetics and Director of the Jonsson Center for Molecular Genetics, UT Southwestern
  • Francisco D’SouzaPresident and CEO, Cognizant Technology Solutions
  • Ira EhrenpreisChair, World Energy Innovation Forum
  • Jonathan GoldsteinSenior Advisor, TA Associates
  • William R. Hearst, IIIChairman, Hearst Corporation
  • David H. Koch*Director Emeritus, Koch Industries
  • Dr. Howard L. MorganPartner, First Round Capital
  • Paul A. Offit, MDDivision of Infectious Diseases, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Professor of Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Anna RasmussenPrincipal Trustee, Neil and Anna Rasmussen Foundation
  • Neil RasmussenCo-Founder and Former CTO, American Power Conversion Corp.
  • Michael C. RuettgersRetired Chairman, EMC Board of Directors
  • Roger SantCo-Founder and Chairman Emeritus, The AES Corporation
  • Camilla SmithPresident and Trustee, LSB Leakey Foundation
  • Marshall TurnerFormer Chairman and CEO, Dupont Photomasks, Inc.
  •  
  • *Deceased (August 23, 2019)