MAKERS Profile

Pat Mitchell

Former CEO, Public Broadcast Service

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 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.

More From Pat

Everyone Needs a Rabbi
Just nine months after landing a dream job in New York City, Pat Mitchell found herself unemployed, broke and ready to give up when a run-in with a rabbi revived her spirit.

Falling Forward
Former President and CEO of PBS, Pat Mitchell, on the wisdom her grandmother passed down to her about taking risks and overcoming challenges.

Women's Relationship with Power
Being a woman who's been in several positions of power, Pat Mitchell knows first hand how complicated the relationship between women and power is, how the media impacts our image of powerful women, and how it can be changed.

Couldn't Be Held Back By Fear
Television pioneer Pat Mitchell talks about how her ambition to help move women forward allowed her to overcome any and all fear.

Policy Comes from the Top
Television pioneer Pat Mitchell talks about the current barriers for women in work and where the changes have to be made.

The Media's Impact on Feminism
In this interview, former PBS president Pat Mitchell shares how the media's portrayal of feminism negatively impacts our own perspective on modern feminists.  

The Audacity to Take a Risk
Pat Mitchell talks about how having the audacity to take risks allowed her to take on so many different roles throughout her career. 

A Women's Life is Like...
Pat Mitchell recalls the best advice she received when she needed it most: at the crossroads of being a working, single mom.

The Elitist Conversation
Television pioneer Pat Mitchell shares her views on work/life balance and how the real issue is that most women are just trying to put food on the table.

One Woman Per Station
In the early days of women working in television, Pat Mitchell recalls how the industry promoted an each-woman-for-herself culture and how that affects where we are today.