Clarke, John Hesse and Ken Lawrence
Photo © Phil
Composite by J. Kevin Tumlinson
Houston, TX 77004
Phone: (713) 748-8888
Jeff Clarke - email@example.com
John Hesse - firstname.lastname@example.org
Ken Lawrence - email@example.com
info KUHT/HOUSTON PBS
America's First Public Television
On May 25, 1953, KUHT made television history when it
signed on the air for its premier broadcast. As America's
first public television station, KUHT has served as
a model and example for other educational television
stations and systems throughout the country. A Houston
institution, the station even pre-dates the Corporation
for Public Broadcasting (CPB) and the Public Broadcasting
System (PBS). KUHT, licensed to the University of Houston,
has proven the value of educational television over
the years. It began with a mission to expand the reach
of the university's classroom offerings and to provide
programming that would interest not only students and
faculty, but also the community at large.
station has changed with the times: broadcasting in
color for the first time in 1964; becoming the first
station in Houston to telecast with closed captioning
for the hearing impaired in 1981; and the first to offer
bilingual capabilities, descriptive video and the Houston
Taping for the Blind Radio signal through SAP technology
Public Television has a long history of quality, award-winning
local and national productions. Its original productions
feature the history and culture of the Southeast Texas
Gulf Coast region with programs like The Texas Rangers,
The Ranchers, Love Of The Game: The History of Baseball
In Houston, Liberty Texas, In Search Of La Salle and
the six-part series Houston: Remember When. National
productions include Live At The Woodlands with B.B.
King, Honor Squadrons, Living with Killer Bees,
A World Transformed, Brother, Can You Spare A Billion?
The Story Of Jesse H. Jones, The Houston Symphony: A
Maestro's Farewell and a two-part International project,
Public Television is leading PBS stations into the digital
age of television through the construction of the LeRoy
and Lucile Melcher Center for Public Broadcasting. This
new state-of-the-art broadcast facility will allow KUHT
to prepare for programming on its digital channel. With
the increased capabilities of the digital channel, the
station's future plans include expanding its electronic
courses and long-distance education programs.
Clarke is chief executive officer and general manager of KUHT/Houston
Public Television, a position to which he was named by the
Board of Regents of the University of Houston System in 1992.
Before coming to KUHT, he was associate director of television
and acting development director for Wisconsin Public Television,
a six-station PTV network with headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin.
graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro
with a B.A. in Radio, Television and Film, later earning an
M.A. in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin.
He began his career as a broadcaster in 1965, working in various
capacities in commercial television and radio before entering
public broadcasting in 1978. During his 20 years in public
television, he has served as director of programming and production
at WHA-TV in Madison; as executive producer of the national
PBS series, The New Tech Times; and as manager for News and
Public Affairs at KETC in St. Louis, Missouri.
1997, he was elected to the PBS Board of Directors. Since
1995 he has been a member of the PBS New Technologies Working
Group, advising the PBS Board of Directors on the potential
of current and emerging broadcasting technologies. During
his time on the working group, he served as chairman of the
Direct Broadcast Satellite sub-committee.
has also served on the board of trustees of America's Public
Television Stations (APTS), and was elected its vice chairman
in 1995. He has served on the board of directors of the Southern
Educational Communications Association (now NETA), including
three terms on its executive committee, to which he was elected
treasurer in 1995. He has been a member and vice chairman
of the Central Educational Network board of directors, and
chairman of its Program Council's Executive Committee. He
is an American Leadership Forum senior fellow as a member
of the Houston Chapter's leadership class number XV.
is active in numerous local organizations as well:
for Humanity, as a volunteer
Limbs of Love Foundatin, as a member of the Advisory Board
for the Blind, as President of the Board
Whitehall Club of Houston, as Vice President
Space Center Houston Educational Foundation, as a member
of the Advisory Board
Clarke was chairman of the board of directors for the United
Church of Christ's National Office of Communication. He has
also served in leadership positions at First Congregational
Church, UCC, of Houston. From 1993 to 1995, he was on the
board of directors for the Houston Rotary Club, and was a
member of the Lombardi Award Advisory Committee. Clarke has
won numerous awards during his broadcasting career: Five local
EMMY nominations while working at KETC-TV, St. Louis; a silver
medal from the New York International Film Festival for The
New Tech Times; Corporation for Public Broadcasting local
program awards; and numerous AP and UPI news awards.
John Hesse is station manager for KUHT/Houston Public Television.
Since his arrival in 1997, he has been in charge of programming,
production, communications, development, and community education
and outreach. peviously, Hesse was general manager of WLJT-TV
in Martin, Tennessee. During his four years there he successfully
headed up that station's "rebirth," substantially
boosting both membership and revenue.
was born in Louisville, Kentucky and received his B.F.A. in
Speech Arts/Broadcasting from the University of Arizona. He
began his public broadcasting career in 1968 as a producer/writer/director
for KUAT-TV in Tucson. In 1974, he became a producer/writer/director
for KUED-TV in Salt Lake City, where he remained for the next
1980, he turned toward commercial television working widely
in syndication and cable. He managed and directed numerous projects
for Osmond Entertainment, then formed his own production company
producing a wide array of projects for syndication, HBO, Country
Television of England, Osmond Entertainment, PBS and TNN. He
helped launch The Nashville Network, serving for four years
1989, he returned to public broadcasting in the development
area of KCET in Los Angeles, working in fundraising with major
donor, foundation, corporate and capital campaign initiatives.
Hesse's dual experience in private and public broadcasting is
one of the keys to his success at Houston Public Television,
and the cornerstone of his approach: "A public broadcasting
organization can no longer look at itself simply as a broadcaster,"
Hesse says. "It must establish itself as the primary provider
of unique programming and services. Competition has increased
on all fronts, from programming to computer services and interactive
media products, and even to educational services for schools
and teachers. It's important to embrace these new areas and
explore the business, venture and service opportunities that
is a current member of the Public Broadcasting Management Association
and the Houston Rotary Club. Hesse takes a lively interest in
issues, and is active in both local and national organizations.
He is a past member
Education Communications Association Board of Directors
Education Communications Association Finance Committee
Public Television Council
of Tennessee at Martin Communications Advisory Council
A graduate of The University of Texas from the School of Radio-TV-Film,
Ken Lawrence has been in public television for over twenty years,
more than 15 of them in programming. He has worked at KLRN/KLRU,
Austin/San Antonio when the stations were joint licensees, WNIT,
South Bend, Indiana, WPTD/WPTO Dayton/Oxford, Ohio and has been
Director of Programming at KUHT in Houston since 1993.
Lawrence is a two-term member of the Board of the Public Television
Programmer's Association (1997-present) and serves on the Executive
Committee. He has been an adjunct professor at the University
of Houston's School of Communications since 1995, teaching a
fall semester undergraduate class in Programming and Ratings
for Television, Radio and Cable.
has been instrumental in developing and bringing forward a wide
range of nationally distributed specials and series for KUHT
including "B.B. King.Live at the Woodlands", "A
World Transformed: Our Remembrances of Ending the Cold War"
with former president George H.W. Bush, "Honor Squadrons",
"The Texas Rangers: Six Brave Men" and the Suncoast
Emmy-award winning biographical documentary "Brother Can
You Spare A Billion? The Story of Jesse H. Jones", as well
as a woodworking series, "The American Woodshop",
now completing its ninth season.