Kerger has led a resurgent PBS to new heights of ratings and kudos. Under her leadership, the pubcaster was nominated for 58 primetime Emmy awards this year, a record for public media. PBS was also recognized with seven Peabody Awards, more than any other organization, and shows like “Downton Abbey” and “Sherlock” have brought legions of new fans to the pubcaster and its other worthy offerings, like “Frontline” and “American Experience,” and lending it a certain kind of pop-cultural cachet it never had before. And with federal funding of PBS almost constantly under attack by some politicians, she’s managed to stave off cuts.
Insider trading: “Each year PBS reaches over 236 million Americans and is also one of the most successful public/private partnerships in existence. For every dollar of federal support we receive, our stations raise an additional $6 on their own.”
Words of wisdom: “One of the most crucial components of great companies is a clear sense of mission. In order to be successful, an organization must not only identify its core values, but focus on what it can do better than any other organization on the planet. I think that the same is true for individuals as well.”
Smartphone habits: “I have an iPad and an iPhone, and they travel with me wherever I go.”
Work week habits: “My work weeks vary considerably because of all the traveling my job entails. I fly almost weekly to visit PBS member stations, and attend conferences and speaking engagements. Last year alone I took almost 70 trips across the country.”
Life-work balance: “My husband, Joe, is my biggest cheerleader, and I wouldn’t be in this position without his unending encouragement and support. I’ve also found that staying fit and active helps me stay balanced, so I train for and compete in several triathlons per year.”
Charitable passions: “I serve on the board of the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History. They each have a unique mission and truly make a difference in the lives of people across this country.”