The former Washington Post Co. SVP will take over as head of the Association of Public Television Stations on Jan. 1.
APTS Names Patrick Butler President-CEO
The board of the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) has named Patrick Butler as its new president and chief executive officer.
Butler, who will assume his new duties January 1, 2011, is a veteran media executive and government official with extensive experience in public television.
Butler retired as senior vice president of the Washington Post Co. in December 2008 after 18 years managing the company’s public policy, new business development and special corporate projects.
Among his Post Company duties, Butler was founder and president of Newsweek Productions, which produced more than 200 hours of non-fiction television programming, including Watergate Plus 30: Shadow of History, which won the Emmy Award for Best Documentary of 2003.
He is chairman of the Maryland Public Television Foundation, whose Thinkport online education platform has been credited with helping improve the scholastic performance of Maryland students. He has served on the board of APTS since 2009.
Butler earlier was Washington vice president of Times Mirror, the corporate parent of the Los Angeles Times, and as government relations vice president of RCA, which owned NBC.
In government service, Butler was a speechwriter for President Gerald R. Ford and special assistant to US Senate Majority Leader Howard H. Baker, Jr of Tennessee.
Nominated by President Reagan and confirmed by the U.S. Senate as a member of the National Council on the Humanities, he chaired the public programs committee of the National Endowment for the Humanities and recommended funding for Ken Burns’s The Civil War, among other projects.
Butler is a trustee of American University, the Foundation for the National Archives, the Pew Research Center, IREX, the Children’s Charities Foundation, the University of Tennessee College of Communication and Information, and the DC College Access Program.
He is chairman of the Dean’s Council of the American University School of Communication and the corporate advisory board of SOME (So Others Might Eat). He is also a member of the advisory board of the National Endowment for Democracy’s Center for International Media Assistance.
“Pat has significant experience and APTS is fortunate that he has a passion for the mission of public media,” said APTS Board Chair Rod Bates.
“Public television has only begun to realize its potential for public service, particularly in education,” Butler said. “I look forward to helping this community make the most of that potential.”