Jerry Franklin, the President and CEO of Connecticut Public who has led the organization for 33 years, has announced he’ll retire next summer.
The move will go into effect on June 30, 2019, and the company’s board said it is beginning a search for his successor.
As he prepares to leave, Franklin said he’s happy with the state of public media and the direction of the company.
“I think this is our time,” Franklin said. “I’ve never been more excited about public media’s future than I am today. Just look at all of the commercial media companies who are doing business differently--many of them are in bankruptcy. We’re thriving. This is our time.”
Franklin has led the Hartford-based company since 1985. Connecticut Public includes Connecticut Public Television, Connecticut Public Radio, and Connecticut Learning.
Under Franklin, “Barney & Friends” was co-produced by CPTV and then ran nationally. The station also aired live University of Connecticut women’s basketball games for 18 years before the team moved on to SportsNet New York in 2012.
Connecticut Public Radio began as a classical music service, and it has grown into a news operation. The station is broadcast across Connecticut and parts of Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island.
Tom Barnes, the chairman of Connecticut Public’s board of trustees, said the organization will conduct a national search and wants to have a final candidate in line by March.
“The new individual who comes in and becomes our CEO will help us decide where we want to go next, but we’re going to have to change,” Barnes said. “And we’re going to have to adapt to the changing environment that is happening so rapidly around us today.”
Franklin said he won’t have a role at the company once his retirement is official on June 30, 2019.
Under Franklin’s leadership, CPTV won two National Daytime Emmy Awards, 98 Regional Emmy Awards, 410 Regional Emmy Award nominations, seven CINE Golden Eagle Awards and one Gracie Allen Award, the company said in the release. Connecticut Public Radio won two George Foster Peabody Awards, five Ohio State Awards, two Gracie Allen Awards, and more than 60 Associated Press Awards, including eight Mark Twain Awards for Overall Station Excellence.