CPB Media Room

Kentucky Educational Television's Ginni Fox Honored with CPB Lifetime Achievement Award

  • November 19, 2002

WASHINGTON, D.C., November 19, 2002 -- The Corporation for Public Broadcasting Board of Directors today awarded Kentucky Educational Television (KET) Executive Director and CEO, Virginia Gaines Fox, the CPB Lifetime Achievement Award. Fox, only the third person to receive this award, was honored during the CPB board meeting for 42 years of work in public broadcasting. "Thanks in large part to Ginni Fox, KET has become the largest PBS member network in America - and a model of the public service that is central to public broadcasting's mission," said Katherine Anderson, CPB Board Chair, in presenting the award.

A driving force behind the Lexington-based, statewide public network, Fox joined KET in 1968 and has been its executive director and CEO since 1991. Earlier this year, she announced plans to retire on Dec. 31, 2002.

"Im so grateful to have been a member of the public broadcasting industry and a part of an institution that has set such high standards of performance," said Fox. "It means even more to me to be recognized by the standard bearer, CPB."

At the nation al level, Fox has been an architect of public broadcasting's use of new technology to teach and learn. A past chair of the National Educational Telecommunications Association, and the Public Television Outreach Alliance, she helped guide public broadcasting's development of outreach as a way to increase the impact of program content beyond the broadcast. She has also served on the boards of the Satellite Educational Resources Consortium, the Organization of State Broadcasting Executives, OnCourse, and Infinite Outsource.

"Ginni's leadership and vision have helped make public broadcasting the educational and cultural force that it is today," said Robert T. Coonrod, President and CEO of CPB.

During her tenure, KET increased the number and quality of its original productions, and launched a new GED program through which 11,400 Kentucky adults have earned high school equivalency diplomas. KET launched the state's first digital television channels, which deliver enhanced programs and services to Kentucky viewers. As digital television expands, KET expects to offer Kentuckians such new services as datacasting and high definition programming from PBS.

Under her leadership, KET became the nation's number one provider of adult education, and continued to distinguish itself as a national leader in providing educational content and instruction for lifelong learning. Using various distribution technologies, the network delivers 200 instructional series (more than 2,500 broadcast hours) and professional development seminars to Kentucky schools each year; provides nearly 5,000 K-12 instructors service up-to-date information about KET's rich video and web-based resources through its e-mail news service; and via satellite and the World Wide Web, offers fully accredited high school classes in foreign languages, the humanities, and physics.

Active in many civic, professional and educational organizations, Fox has also led at the state and regional levels. The organizations she has served as a consultant, advisor and volunteer include: Leadership Kentucky, United Way of Kentucky, University of Kentucky School of Journalism Board of Visitors, National Science Foundation Board of Visitors, Mountain Laurel Festival, Council of Independent Kentucky Colleges and Universities Distance Steering Committee, Professional Womens Forum, Kentucky Science & Technology Council, Kentucky Center for Public Issues and the Lexington Junior League.

Fox has received many awards and acknowledgments for her efforts including the Lexington Business and Professional Womens Club Woman of the Year Award in progressive education, the 21st Century Award from Americas Public Television Stations for SECA service, and the 1995 Appalachian Woman of the Year by Morehead State University. She holds honorary doctorates from Morehead State University - her alma mater - and Pikeville College in Kentucky.

In March she was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame for her work in public broadcasting.

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The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,400 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

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