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Amy Burkett, General Manager - ‎WTVI PBS Charlotte

Updated: Jan 12, 2019

Amy Burkett, PBS

Why is our local PBS station (WTVI) so important to the community?

PBS Charlotte is an incredible community asset as a neutral convener of ideas. While all PBS stations carry the amazing national shows like Masterpiece, Nova, Nature and (AR) Antiques Roadshow, only PBS Charlotte explores the issues, people, and places that impact the 13 counties around Charlotte. We have more local content than most stations with six weekly shows, special documentaries, our own version of AR called Carolina Collectibles, and the Blumey Awards recognize excellence in high school musical theater across our region. We explore local issues from an in-depth perspective that can’t be found anywhere else.

As General Manager of WTVI, can you explain what your position encompasses?

I work with our small but talented team to set the strategic direction for our organization. I’m responsible for hiring and training, budgeting, fundraising, production, education and outreach, as well as programming. I do anything and everything to help our organization serve our region in the most impactful way.

WTVI has been through some challenging times, but seems to be on the right track now. Do you see the future as promising?

I’m so excited about our future. We created a service to success mission when I arrived, and I’m so honored and grateful that our community has supported this focus. We increased the amount of local productions and they’ve won numerous awards, two regional Emmys and five Radio and Television Digital News Association Awards of the Carolinas. We’ve more than doubled our number of individual investors over this time. Individual donors are our largest source of revenue. We have about 8,000 donors, but we reach 1.2 million households across 13 counties so there are lots of opportunities for more growth. We don’t receive any state, county or city funds, which makes individual contributions critical.

WTVI has increased the focus on local programming. Have you found that has created a stronger connection to the Charlotte community?

Absolutely, we provide information that goes way beyond what local news does. This is the only place to find true in-depth community focused information. We just premiered our latest documentary in our "Living History Series" called (re)Made in the Carolinas:Textile Towns and in June we’ll premier Summer-Sand and Shag. We launched a four-year community engagement program to help with our area’s economic mobility issue called the 3-D project DREAMERS-DOERS-DESTINY that has us teaching career pathways and leadership in some of our poorest high schools. It’s an exciting program where students come to the station to record their own “I have a dream” speeches. We just recorded a Town Hall on the issues with a live studio audience that airs March 27th.

When did you move to Charlotte, and how have you enjoyed living here?

My family and I moved here in the summer of 2013—we love this gorgeous region. There’s so many fabulous things to explore from the parks, to the mountains and beaches. The people are warm and inviting; both natives and transplants seem to genuinely care about their community.

What’s your favorite thing about living here? Any favorite places?

It sounds a little corny, but my favorite place is our public television station when we have the public here. You can practically feel the energy and positivity. Outside of work, I’m a huge fan of the RiverWalk in Rock Hill, SC.

Can you share something about yourself that people would be surprised to know?

While I love people and communicating things that can be helpful and have a ton of passion and energy for my job, when I’m not working I can be a little shy and like to stay home, relax and curl up with a good book.



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