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Vital Role Of Public Media

Nine PBS Leader Amy Shaw Proclaims Station Is Local Treasure As One Of Strongest Public Media Organizations In USA

When Amy Shaw became president/CEO of Nine PBS in February 2020, she also became the first woman to lead the organization in its 68-year history.

This St. Louis native believes being a woman was an asset to leading and focusing the station through the COVID-19 pandemic. "The collision of our work and home lives, fear and chaos of the unknowns, and need to be kinder and more understanding requires a different leadership style than has been valued in the past," she explains. 

Amy's deeply committed to the power and strength of public media. "As a public media institution that serves our St. Louis region, we’re more essential than ever in connecting our community through stories that move us. We can go deeper on issues that impact all of us. In particular, our role in education has never been more important," she assures. "In the pandemic, we’ve gone back to our roots of teaching on TV. So many children don’t have reliable broadband connections and our classes on TV are free, readily available, and taught by trusted local teachers. This is why being a local public media institution matters. We listen to what’s important from people that impact issues and the people impacted, and act accordingly."

Recognized as a national leader and innovator in community engagement and public media, Amy leads a talented team in groundbreaking work that leverages on-air, online and community engagement for measurable impact around important, complex issues.

While local programming remains the focus, Amy admits the path forward is unclear in many ways, due to technology changes and the shift to access more content on more platforms than before. "What's clear, though, is our lens is squarely focused on telling local stories and doing work that impacts our region," she says.

Amy also has led numerous national content initiatives that have created durable change in local communities, including Facing the Mortgage Crisis, public media’s response to the national financial crisis and the national/local American Graduate initiative to rally communities to improve outcomes for youth. She oversaw the creation of a Community Engagement Guidebook designed to help public media organizations deepen their commitment as relevant and essential community institutions. 

She currently serves on the PBS board, the Public Television Major Market Group board, is chair of the FOCUS St. Louis board, chair of the Webster University School of Communications Advisory Board, and serves on the Grand Center, Inc. board. She's a member of the St. Louis Forum, the International Women’s Forum, and is a graduate of the 2012-13 class of Leadership St. Louis.

In 2021, she was named by the St. Louis Business Journal as one of 25 Most Influential Business Women in the St. Louis region. Under her leadership, Nine PBS was recognized in 2020 by the Women’s Foundation of Greater St. Louis as one of the region’s best places to work for women.

Nine PBS is located in the Grand Center Arts District at 3655 Olive St.

Half of Nine PBS’s funding comes from local viewers, supplemented with community grant funding. "We're also entrepreneurial and do work-for-hire that accounts for about 11% of our funding. In most years, just 11% of our support comes from government sources. We’re driven by a sole purpose to bring about a stronger St. Louis region. Local matters," Amy asserts. 

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