Newsletter

Stay up to date with the latest from MAKERS delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for new stories from trailblazing women, a big dose of inspiration, and exclusive MAKERS content.

Newsletter Confirmation

Thank you for joining! Please check your inbox for our special welcome letter
with exclusive updates from MAKERS.

MAKERS Profile

Pat Mitchell

Television Pioneer

More From Pat

In this video

In her MAKERS interview, television pioneer Pat Mitchell talks about the movements that influenced her to reevaluate her career and led her on a path to become a powerful voice for women in television and ultimately, the first woman President and CEO of PBS.

Pat's Biography

iPad or Notepad: iPad
Army Kid:With her father in the Army, her family moved a lot. "So I was always the new girl in school. And I think that actually adds a lot to one's capacity to make friends quickly."
The Young Starlet:"I went to college on a drama scholarship and I thought that I'd either be an actress, or I'd pursue some glamorous life in the theater, because I wanted something as far away from my life that I had known growing up as possible."
Civil Rights Marches in Georgia:"I got arrested a couple of times along with many, many of my colleagues at the University of Georgia... [it] was one of the motivating factors actually for my thinking that leaving the south might be a good idea."

Pat Mitchell is the current President and Chief Executive Officer of The Paley Center for Media in New York City and the former President and CEO of Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Named President and CEO in March 2000, Mitchell became the first woman to hold the position.
 
Before working for PBS, Mitchell 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, paving a career for herself where few women had been before.
 
In the mid-eighties, Mitchell created a national talk series, "Woman to Woman", the first national program to be hosted and produced by a woman. By 1990, Mitchell went from network producer to establishing her own independent production company, VU Productions.
 
Mitchell's documentary series work led her to the job of a lifetime: heading the documentary division at Turner Productions. Her achievements at Turner Cable Networks include 44 Emmys for journalistic excellence, five Peabody Awards and two Academy Award nominations. Mitchell became President of Turner Original Productions and after the merger of Turner Broadcasting Company with Time Warner, she became the President of Time Inc. Television and CNN Productions. In 2000, Mitchell was recruited to become President and Chief Executive Officer of PBS, the Public Broadcasting Service in the US.
 
Today, as President and CEO of the Paley Center, Mitchell is committed to the power of media to influence, inform and inspire as the Paley Center leads the discussion about the cultural, creative, and social significance of television, radio, and emerging platforms for the professional community and media-interested public. She also sits on the corporate board of AOL.

Related Videos

Carol Burnett
Carol Burnett
First Woman Variety Show Host

A child of Hollywood, but not of means, Carol Burnett had to fight her way into the playwright program at UCLA. An acting class was a requirement and Burnett would always remember ...

Beverly Guy-Sheftall
Beverly Guy-Sheftall
Pioneer of Black Women's Studies

As one of the leading African-American feminist scholars of our time, Beverly Guy-Sheftall was instrumental in bringing the women’s studies movement to women of color, and th...

Joan Ganz Cooney
Joan Ganz Cooney
Co-Founder, Sesame Workshop

A founder of the Sesame Workshop and co-creator of Sesame Street, Joan Ganz Cooney knew that educational television was her calling the moment she walked into Channel 13. Born and ...

Alice Walker
Alice Walker
Pulitzer Prize Winning Author

Growing up in the South prior to and during the Civil Rights Movement, had a major impact on the life and career of novelist, poet, and activist, Alice Walker. The eighth child of ...