Thoughts on PBS and Innovation

Arlington Economic Development recently hosted its twice yearly executive lunch featuring Paula Kerger, CEO of the Public Broadcasting Station (PBS), as the keynote speaker. PBS moved its headquarters to Crystal City nine years ago and is now an anchor tenant at Crystal City. Along with many innovative organizations throughout Arlington, PBS forms the foundation of Arlington's creative and innovative economy.

Like everyone, I have my favorite PBS programs and have watched countless hours of children's programs such as Curious George and Martha Speaks on television. However, I did not realize that PBS has been growing its audiences across different genres and platforms. In her remarks, Ms. Kerger talked about the various ways that PBS is using creative and innovative digital platforms to reach and grow audiences, including partnering with iTunes, Youtube, AppleTV, and Hulu to name to few. As a result, in 2013, Americans viewed more than 3 billion videos across all PBS digital platforms. Also with the organization's high-qualify content television programs, nearly 90% of all television households in America watch PBS, and over 80% of children watch PBS.  

Having grown up in Baltimore, Ms. Kerger has seen firsthand how the Washington area has become one of the most dynamic and innovative drivers of economic growth in the country. She praised Arlington's devotion to encouraging bold, future-thinking ideas and innovation as demonstrated in our ability to attract high-growth entrepreneurial companies, and in turn, is the #1 place for millennials to move to. She is not surprised with the growth since there is a significant concentration of smart, engaged, and ambitious people who come to this area to make their mark on the world. Arlington provides the right eco-system, job opportunities, and cultural amenities for these talented people to thrive. Ms. Kerger mentioned that at PBS, they feel tremendously lucky to be part of the community as it grows and flourishes. PBS and Arlington's missions intersect in similar ways. 

Topic: BIG Update
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