Former Times editor named chair of PBS SoCal

The Orange County public TV station formerly known as KOCE has a new board chairman who seems oriented at finally giving the station a regional focus. Robert G. Magnuson, a former top editor at both the LA Times Business section and the paper's former Orange County edition, was elected at a meeting last week at the City Club on Bunker Hill in downtown Los Angeles. The location is interesting because PBS SoCal has been conspicuously absent from Los Angeles since inheriting the mantle of LA's PBS station when KCET gave up its membership in the system. Let's hope they get serious about LA and soon, especially since KCET dropped its local news program, "SoCal Connected."

From the flackage:

Magnuson is the founder of the strategic communications firm Magnuson & Company and teaches media and communications at Chapman University. He has served on the PBS SoCaL Board of Trustees since 2009 and also sits on the board of several non-profit companies. Magnuson previously has served on numerous additional boards, including the executive board of the University of California, Berkeley College of Letters and Science and the corporate advisory board of the Pacific Council on International Policy.

A native Angelino, Magnuson graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in political science and earned master’s degrees in economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and in journalism from Columbia University. He has worked in the media business for more than three decades, as a former business editor of the Los Angeles Times, president of the Los Angeles Times Orange County, senior news executive, CEO and consultant.

“I have always been a big believer in public television and a big supporter of PBS SoCaL, so it is a great privilege to take on the role as the new board chair,” says Magnuson. “Since PBS SoCaL is now the PBS station for the entire Los Angeles area, there are big challenges and opportunities for us to grow, and I am excited to be a part of it.”

For nearly three years, the PBS SoCaL Board of Trustees was led by co-chairs JoEllen Chatham, director of public affairs for Southern California Edison, and Musco, founder and chairman of the board for Gemini Industries, Inc. Prior to the emergence of PBS SoCaL as L.A.’s home for all things PBS, Chatham served for seven years as chair of the KOCE-TV Foundation. Chatham will continue to serve on the executive committee of the PBS SoCaL board.

About PBS SoCaL

PBS SoCaL is PBS for Greater Los Angeles and dedicated to interactively educating, entertaining and enlightening viewers throughout the Southland. With its three unique broadcast channels, PBS SoCaL HD, PBS OC and WORLD TV, PBS SoCaL provides award-winning programs like Frontline, NewsHour, NOVA, Nature and Masterpiece, as well as local productions Real Orange, SoCaL Insider with Rick Reiff, and LAaRT. Through community outreach initiatives including PBS SoCaL Education, PBS SoCaL provides local schools access to new media materials that engage students in 21st century learning. Explore the future of PBS in Southern California at

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