Back to Press Releases

Pat Mitchell Appointed President & Chief Executive Officer of The Museum of Television & Radio

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

New York, NY and Los Angeles, CA—Frank A. Bennack, Jr., chairman of the board of The Museum of Television & Radio, today announced the appointment of Pat Mitchell as president and chief executive officer of the Museum, effective March 15, 2006, and named Christy Carpenter as executive vice president and chief operating officer, effective immediately.

"I am very pleased to welcome Pat Mitchell to the Museum," said Mr. Bennack. "Pat's extensive knowledge and deep appreciation for talent and content will be a tremendous asset to the Museum.  Her proven leadership abilities combined with her experience in guiding a major media enterprise to adapt new platforms and technologies will be instrumental in building the Museum's profile and advancing the institution's mission. The Board of Trustees has great respect for her accomplishments, and as the Museum celebrates its thirtieth anniversary in 2006, we all look forward to the passion and vision she will bring to the Museum."

Pat Mitchell commented, "During this time of transformative changes across the media landscape, the Museum has a critical role to play in continuing to preserve, celebrate, and document significant programs, trends, and technological advances and also in providing a forum on the role of media in our interconnected world. I look forward to leading the Museum into the future in ways that bring value and benefit to both the media industry and the public. Together with the talented team at the Museum, we will evolve the programs and services that strengthen this great institution's contributions to the culture of our country and our world."

In addition, the Board of Trustees has promoted Christy Carpenter to the new position of executive vice president and chief operating officer. Currently a vice president of the Museum, Carpenter serves as executive director for the MT&R Media Center and International Council. Mr. Bennack commented, "As head of the MT&R Media Center and International Council, Christy has proven herself to be a highly skilled manager who has helped establish the Museum as an intellectual center for the industry.  Christy's talent and energy will be invaluable as the Museum shapes its future. The Board is confident that Pat, Christy, and the very capable staff of the Museum will be an effective team to increase the Museum's impact at a time of rapid change in the media world."

Christy Carpenter added, "I have had the pleasure of knowing Pat for six years during my service on the Board for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Pat has the dynamism, energy, and strategic mindset to lead the Museum through this time of explosive technological growth in the media industry."

Pat Mitchell comes to the Museum from the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), where she was named president and chief executive officer in March 2000, the first woman and first producer and journalist to hold the position. Under Mitchell's leadership, PBS rejuvenated the National Program Service which is distributed to the public through 348 locally owned and operated PBS member stations. Mitchell also oversaw the development of many new projects, including new series for children focusing on teaching literacy skills and celebrating diversity. She is credited with leading public broadcasting into the digital future with such initiatives as the conversion from analog to digital broadcasting, the launch of a high-definition PBS channel and an on-demand and cable preschool children's service, the growth of PBS's website into one of the three most visited sites on the Internet, and the establishment of the Digital Future Initiative to help define models for public service media using new digital technologies.

A former classroom teacher and college instructor, Mitchell has enjoyed a three-decade career in media. Previous to PBS, Mitchell worked for three broadcast networks, several cable channels, and achieved success both in front of, and behind, the camera as a reporter, news anchor, talk show host, White House and special correspondent, producer, and executive. In the mideighties, she established her own independent production company that produced documentaries, series, and specials for broadcast, cable, and national syndication. In 1992, Mitchell became an executive in charge of original productions for Ted Turner's cable networks. Over the next eight years, as executive producer, her documentaries and specials received thirty-seven Emmy Awards, five Peabody Awards, and two Academy Award nominations.

Mitchell has received numerous awards including the Women in Cable and Telecommunications Woman of the Year Award; the CINE Golden Eagle for Lifetime Achievement; the PROMAX Century Award for contributions to the television industry; the Sandra Day O'Connor Award for Leadership; and most recently, the NATPE Brandon Tartikoff Legacy Award.  In addition, Mitchell was named one of the most influential female executives in the media by The Hollywood Reporter and was honored as one of the first fifty women in The Museum of Television & Radio's She Made It initiative.

Mitchell is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. Afghan Women's Council; the vice chair of the Sundance Institute Board; a founding member of Mikhail Gorbachev's global environmental organization, Global Green USA; an adviser to the Center for Public Leadership at the Kennedy School of Harvard University; a member of the Mayo Clinic's Board of Trustees; and on the corporate boards Knight-Ridder, Inc., Bank of America, and Sun Microsystems, Inc.  A magna cum laude graduate of the University of Georgia, with a master's degree in English literature, Mitchell has received many honorary doctorate degrees.

Christy Carpenter has some thirty years of experience in media, marketing, and nonprofit management. Since June 2003, she has served as a vice president of The Museum of Television & Radio, and executive director of the MT&R Media Center and International Council, which bring together top executives and leading thinkers in the global media industry to discuss a wide range of critical issues in media. 

A lawyer by training, she was an early pioneer in interactive services during the 1980s, initially participating in Warner Cable's interactive QUBE service; subsequently with Prodigy Interactive Services (a venture of IBM, Sears, and CBS), as the marketing director for the first PC-based online service designed for the mass market; and later with Telaction, an electronic home-shopping service developed by JCPenney. Carpenter also served as vice president and group director for the international public relations firm Hill & Knowlton in New York, senior executive for public and professional services for the State Bar of California, and executive vice president and chief operating officer for the Wine Institute in San Francisco. In 1998, President Clinton appointed her to the Board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, where she served as vice chair for two years. Carpenter went on to run her own consulting practice and spent several years in the trenches as a dot-com entrepreneur and new media executive. In 2002, she was elected to the board of KCET, the largest public television station in Southern California. 

Early in her career, Carpenter worked for all three branches of the federal government, including the judiciary, where she clerked for former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Tom C. Clark. She received her B.A. from Brown University and her J.D. from the American UniversityLaw School.    

The Museum of Television & Radio, with locations in New York and Los Angeles, is a nonprofit organization founded by William S. Paley to collect and preserve television and radio programs and advertisements and to make them available to the public. Since opening in 1976, the Museum has organized exhibitions, screening and listening series, seminars, and education classes to showcase its collection of over 100,000 television and radio programs and advertisements. Programs in the Museum's permanent collection are selected for their artistic, cultural, and historic significance.

The Museum of Television & Radio in New York, located at 25 West 52 Street in Manhattan, is open Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to 6:00 p.m. and until 8:00 p.m. on Thursdays. The Museum of Television & Radio in California, located at 465 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, is open Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 5:00 p.m. Both Museums are closed on New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Suggested contribution: Members free; $10.00 for adults; $8.00 for senior citizens and students; and $5.00 for children under fourteen. Admission is free in Los Angeles.  The public areas in both Museums are accessible to wheelchairs, and assisted listening devices are available. Programs are subject to change. You may call the Museum in New York at (212) 621-6800, or in Los Angeles at (310) 786-1000. Visit the Museum's website at