SAN FRANCISCO, CA, June 1, 1998 -- The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) has named Jack W. Mitchell, former director of Wisconsin Public Radio whose career spans public radios modern era, the recipient of the 22nd annual Edward R. Murrow Award, public radios highest honor.
Mitchell, who retired from his post last year, was presented the award by Robert T. Coonrod, CPB president and CEO, at the opening session of the Public Radio Conference here on Saturday.
"Jack Mitchell has given life to public radios values throughout his career," said Coonrod. "He has brought them to the state network that has been his professional home and to the national organizations with which he has given his time and commitment. To say that public radio is better for his good work is to understate his contribution." Mitchell became Director of Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR), a partnership between the University of Wisconsin-Extension and the Educational Communications Board, in 1976. During his twenty-one year tenure, he built WPR into one of the premiere, most extensive, university-based systems in the country. Today, WPRs network of 20 stations serves the entire state with two network programs services and produces four national programs for the public radio system.
Mitchell made important contributions to public radio at the national level as well. When National Public Radio (NPR) was created in 1970, Mitchell was the new networks first employee and was the first producer of "All Things Considered". He subsequently assumed a leadership position at NPR during the financial emergency of the early 1980s. Mitchell served three terms on the NPR board, including a term as chair during which the networks fiscal base changed from direct CPB funding to member station support.
In addition to the Murrow Award, Mitchell has received a George Foster Peabody Award, a Columbia/DuPont Award, the University of Wisconsin Extension Award for Excellence and the Edward Elson/National Public Radio Distinguished Service Award. Currently, he is a Professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he teaches and does research in radio journalism and public broadcasting.
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.