Twin Cities PBS Leader Jim Pagliarini To Step Down After 21 Years

Photo of JIM PAGLIARINI TPT PRESIDENT & CEO(ST. PAUL, Minn., May 11, 2018) ─ Twin Cities PBS (TPT) announced today that Jim Pagliarini has decided to retire as the organization’s president and CEO.

Pagliarini was recruited to his position at TPT 21 years ago. He moved to the Twin Cities from Reno, NV, where he founded the PBS station and became one of public broadcasting’s youngest station leaders at the age of 29. During his 15 years as president of the Reno station, he also served on the national board of PBS. After coming to Minnesota, he continued to be an active leader and change agent at the national level, including taking a half-time leave of absence in 2006 to lead strategic planning for all the public television stations across the country.

Under Pagliarini’s leadership, TPT has distinguished itself by both excelling in serving its local community and having a strong presence on the national public media stage. Today, it is considered an innovative leader in extending public media onto new digital platforms. It is consistently among the most viewed PBS stations in America; produces major primetime and children’s series for the PBS system; serves its local community through arts, culture, public affairs, and history programs; and is the preferred media partner to hundreds of Minnesota non-profit organizations who co-produce content with TPT each year.

Milestones under Pagliarini’s leadership include The Minnesota Channel, which launched in 2003 and has become the nationwide model for public broadcasting community partnerships. Next Avenue, which launched in 2012, was Twin Cities PBS’ first major foray into programming beyond traditional television. Next Avenue’s digital platform now attracts more than a million adults over 50. A new platform, Rewire, aims to do the same with young adults who are navigating their first big decisions as they venture out on their own. In 2015, Twin Cities PBS’ renovated St. Paul headquarters opened its doors wide to the broader Twin Cities community. More than 45,000 people have visited since.

“TPT has the best executive team in its history, a talented and committed staff, and is solid financially,” Pagliarini said. “The time is right for us to find a new leader who can build on that strong foundation.”

A search for Pagliarini’s successor will begin immediately, according to Sally Mullen, TPT’s board chair. Pagliarini will remain in his role until a new leader is named, likely before the end of October. “We are grateful that Jim also will be available to support a smooth transition, and to assist in the launch of our upcoming endowment campaign to assure that TPT is strong and vibrant into the future,” she said.

Twin Cities PBS: The mission of Twin Cities PBS (TPT) is to “enrich lives and strengthen our community through the power of media.” For more information about TPT, visit or follow on Facebook and Twitter.

TPT Under Jim Pagliarini

Jim Pagliarini joined Twin Cities PBS (TPT) in September 1997 as its president and CEO. His interest in television began while at Princeton, where he studied biology as well as the power and influence that television had on children. His research on Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers led him to complete a master’s degree in education at Temple University. In 1976, he became assistant to the general manager of the PBS station in San Jose, Calif. He moved to Reno, Nev., in 1980, where at age 29 he became president of that city’s public television station.

Milestones under Pagliarini’s leadership of TPT are many. Among them:

  • TPT delivered balanced budgets and increased assets that were invested in new programs and services.
  • Re-election to the national PBS board, as well as leading a strategic planning project for all public television stations in 2006.
  • A decision to become the state’s media partner for non-profits to help them use the power of media to service their mission and purpose. One major outcome of this decision was the launch of The Minnesota Channel in 2003 which is dedicated to the cause, and has become the nationwide model for public broadcasting community partnerships.
  • Next Avenue, which launched in 2012, answered a need to help people over 50 address the issues and opportunities of aging. Rather than television-centric programming, Next Avenue’s centerpiece is a website that reaches more than a million people every month.
  • TPT’s second national digital service, Rewire, launched in 2016. It serves the life-stage needs of young adults in their mid-20s through late-30s, and reaches 65,000 users each month.

A $40 million campaign, the most ambitious in TPT’s history, was completed in 2015. The funds allowed for investments in new digital work and for a major investment to renovate TPT’s headquarters in St. Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood. The renovation was part of Twin Cities PBS’ commitment to engaging the community. More than 45,000 people have taken advantage of screenings, workshops, musical concerts, children’s events and other gatherings since.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tracy Carlson, 612-455-1717 (o) / 612-232-6578 (m), [email protected]

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