Idaho Public Television announced today that General Manager Ron Pisaneschi will retire on June 30, 2021, or as soon thereafter as a replacement can be named.
“After more than 35 years at Idaho Public Television and eight of those as general manager, I have decided to retire and let someone new lead the organization into an exciting future,” Pisaneschi said. “It has been the greatest privilege and joy to be part of the Idaho Public Television family and to lead this extraordinary organization. We have an amazing, talented and dedicated staff that I am honored to have had the chance to work with and lead.”
Pisaneschi has been part of Idaho Public Television since 1985, during which time he served as director of content, director of programming, director of public information, and director of marketing and development before taking on his current duties. He became general manager in August 2013. Pisaneschi is responsible for a staff of 70 full-time and more than 40 part-time employees and a $9+ million budget. Under his leadership, Idaho Public Television has been one of the most-watched and best supported PBS stations per capita in the nation.
Pisaneschi recalled some of the milestones and most successful achievements of his tenure. “I am proud of the successes we have had in recent years, including strong support from our viewers and donors and increasing viewership across multiple platforms. We have enhanced our local production offerings, including the launch of our newest ongoing production, Idaho Experience. We built a new education department that is having real impact on the lives of students, educators and families, especially during this pandemic year. And we have embraced new technologies and platforms to make sure that our content and services are available whenever and wherever viewers want them via services like the free PBS Video app, smart TVs, YouTube TV, live linear streaming on our website (idahoptv.org) and more. I want to thank my family, my colleagues, our viewers and donors, the Friends of Idaho Public Television Board of Directors, the Idaho State Board of Education, and so many others for their support over the years. I know the future is bright for this wonderful organization.”
Two of Pisaneschi’s longtime colleagues reflected on his leadership and legacy. Jeff Tucker, director of content at Idaho Public Television, said, “Ron’s time in the PBS and public media system has really benefitted not just Idaho Public Television but public media nationwide. His work here in Idaho has been strong and his compassion shows. What he’s managed to achieve over his eight years as general manager and over three decades with IdahoPTV is remarkable. His influence and expertise will be greatly missed.”
Bruce Reichert, Idaho Public Television executive producer, added, “I’ve worked with Ron for three decades. He’s been a steady, caring administrator and a stalwart supporter of our locally grown productions. He’s represented the agency well, especially when certain advocacy groups were willing to bend the truth to make a point. And he’s warned PBS officials back east that they need to do a better job listening to the concerns of rural states like Idaho. Ron has moved the needle, and Idaho is the better for it.”
Douglas Balfour, president of the Friends of Idaho Public Television, sent congratulations on behalf of the nonprofit that helps IdahoPTV publicize its services and secure financial support. “The Friends of Idaho Public Television congratulate Ron Pisaneschi on his retirement. Under his management, IdahoPTV has continued to provide amazing national shows and brilliant original productions. No wonder IdahoPTV is recognized as being among the best public television stations in the nation. With his leadership, IdahoPTV has focused on the wonderful people and places we have in the Gem State, with local productions like Idaho Reports, Outdoor Idaho and Idaho Experience. Ron will be missed, but we will carry on in the tradition he established.”
Debbie Critchfield, Idaho State Board of Education member, said, “The commitment and work ethic of Ron Pisaneschi is the reason Idaho Public Television has the state and national status that it does. It’s because of his leadership and absolute belief in quality programming that we have had a public television system that reflected the needs and values of Idaho. We acknowledge his efforts and thank him for his dedication.”
The Idaho State Board of Education, which oversees the operation of Idaho Public Television, will form a committee to conduct a nationwide search for Pisaneschi’s replacement. For more details on the replacement process, contact Mike Keckler, chief communications and legislative affairs officer at the Idaho State Board of Education: firstname.lastname@example.org.