New board will focus on future of broadcasting

New board will focus on future of broadcasting More technology and better coverage are in the future for SDPB under the direction of a new board of directors.

Governor Mike Rounds in January appointed the new nine-member Board of Directors for Educational Telecommunications. The board holds the operating licenses for South Dakota Public Broadcasting and sets policies. It also

serves in an advisory capacity and is involved in the planning of SDPB's ongoing conversion to digital television.

New members of the board are: Mark Shlanta-chairman, Sioux Falls; David Law, Watertown; Glenda Woodburn, Pierre; Kay Jorgensen, Spearfish and Rick Knobe, Sioux Falls.

Four members of the former board will continue to serve as set members, including Robert "Tad" Perry, Sioux Falls, representing the SD Board of Regents; Otto Doll, Pierre, representing the SD Bureau of Information and Telecommunications; Joseph Dondelinger, Sioux Falls, representing the state's private colleges; and Julie Andersen, of Vermillion, who serves as executive director of SDPB.

Andersen said new board members were selected for their skills and technical abilities, general knowledge of the media and experience with advocacy and policy-making. The timing is perfect, she said, because the new board steps in just as SDPB is on the verge of some very high-tech changes, like its conversion to digital television.

"Considering all these technological changes, this is an ideal time to have a new board come in and begin focusing on the future of Public Broadcasting," she said.

Shlanta said he is excited to be on the board, and that he hopes to use his knowledge to examine new methods of broadcasting technology for SDPB, which could include wireless applications.

"I want to learn more about the licenses of SDPB," he said, "and work with the staff and the state to develop those resources."

Jorgensen said she is thrilled to have been selected by Gov. Rounds and that she is dedicated to making SDPB work.

"People don't realize it, but there are areas of the state where the only coverage is through Public Broadcasting," she said. "Public Broadcasting is, if not the last, then the best voice for the overall general public."

Andersen praised members of the former Board of Directors for their service over the past 15 years and for their role in the conception and creation of SDPB.

"On behalf of SDPB and the many viewers and listeners across the state, I extend my sincerest thanks and appreciation to the former members for providing the leadership that shaped SDPB into the wonderful organization that it is today," she said.

Former board members are: Tony Berg, Winner; Bob Hofer, Pierre; Dean Sorenson, Sioux Falls; Jana Bastian, Belle Fourche; and Charles "Eddie" Clay of Hot Springs, who served as chairman.

"It was a wonderful experience," Clay said, remembering his 15 years as board chairman. As a South Dakota State Legislator, he recalled serving on an appropriations committee that worked on the purchase of black and white television sets for public schools. "That's how far Public Broadcasting has come," he said, "and it's been a fun trip."

In addition to the Educational Telecommunications Board, SDPB also has a separate board of directors that oversees "Friends of South Dakota Public Broadcasting." The mission of that board is to provide advocacy, leadership and fund raising for SDPB.

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