Al Jerome, the longtime chief executive at public broadcaster KCET of Burbank, announced Tuesday he will retire within six months.
Jerome has led the station for 18 years. Perhaps his greatest legacy will be his decision in 2010 to end KCET’s programming arrangement with the Public Broadcasting Service – a rare move for a public TV station. In 2012, KCET merged with LinkTV, a Bay Area public TV satellite network. The public broadcaster is now called KCETLink.
Jerome joined the station 18 years ago and is just the third executive to lead the organization in its 50-year history. Before KCET, Jerome had worked at NBC, CBS and ABC. Under his leadership, KCET produced such shows as “PBS Hollywood Presents,” which profiled Hollywood talent and aired nationally.
Jerome will stay on until his successor is named. Dick Cook, chairman of KCETLink, said Jerome has paved a good path for his successor.
“Al Jerome leaves an exceptional legacy of leadership in commercial and public media,” Cook said in a statement. “He has steadily guided KCETLink through a period of significant change with bold decision-making and risk-taking. The board is committed to identifying a new leader who can leverage the positive momentum that Al has created to establish a sustainable model for public media that engages a new generation.”