Beth Courtney is President and CEO of Louisiana Public Broadcasting (LPB), serving as the leader of the statewide public media enterprise since 1985. LPB is also Louisiana’s educational technology resource center and is a supplier of cultural and educational programming for public television nationwide. During her tenure at LPB, the station has produced a number of award-winning documentaries including the six-part series Louisiana: A History, Uncle Earl, Kate Chopin: A Reawakening, and Frame After Frame: The Images of Herman Leonard. Recent productions have included Atchafalaya Houseboat, Washing Away: Losing Louisiana, Katrina’s Smallest Victims, Return to the Forest Where We Live and Louisiana War Stories.
Courtney also helped create, and is co-host of Louisiana Public Square, the much-honored monthly public affairs program which gives citizens a chance to voice their opinions about the important issues facing our state and question experts on that month’s topic.
Ms. Courtney is former Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which provides funding for America’s public television and radio stations. Among her many leadership positions, Courtney is Past Chair of the Association of Public Television Stations board and former Vice-Chair of the Board of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Ms. Courtney has chaired numerous PBS task forces and currently serves on the Board of the Organization of State Broadcasting Executives, and the National Educational Telecommunications Association.
Ms. Courtney has testified before Congress on numerous occasions, including the House Appropriations and Commerce Committees, as an advocate and spokesperson for public broadcasting. She has appeared on William F. Buckley’s Firing Line, CBS’ Sunday Morning, CNN’s Crossfire, and the Freedom Forum. She continues to share her expertise as a broadcasting professional on numerous telecommunications technology advisory committees on national, state and local levels.
Ms. Courtney has a BS in History & Speech and an MA in European History and Government from Louisiana State University, an Honorary Doctorate from Southeastern Louisiana University, and she completed UC/Berkeley’s course in public broadcasting management. Prior to her appointment as CEO of LPB, she was LPB's Executive Producer. During her tenure, she oversaw the production of many award-winning programs that have been broadcast in Louisiana and around the world. She is also a Rotarian, Junior League sustainer, board member of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana, Inc., and of the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.
Ms. Courtney started her career in broadcasting as a capitol correspondent, reporting on state government and moderating numerous political debates. She was named Communicator of the Year in 1984, elected Broadcaster of the Year by American Women in Radio & Television (AWRT) in 1988, and was one of the YWCA’s Women of Achievement in 1991. Ms. Courtney was inducted into the Louisiana Center for Women in Government Hall of Fame in 1999. She is active in many community and civic organizations, including Rotary, the Baton Rouge Local Organizing Committee, Inc. – Senior Olympics, Junior League Advisory Board, Leadership Louisiana, and is Vice-Chair of the WLAE-TV Board. She is a member and past president of the Baton Rouge Press Club, a member of the State Technology Advisory committee and a member of the Women's Network.
In addition to her administrative duties, Ms. Courtney hosts the annual Louisiana Young Heroes Awards and the Louisiana Legends Gala.
Ms. Courtney was also honored by the National D-Day Museum for her work both behind the scenes and as co-host of the three-hour live program “Louisiana Honors Its Veterans” which celebrated the contributions of the state’s World War II veterans and the opening of the National D-Day Museum.
Ms. Courtney is married to Bob Courtney, President of Courtney Communications. She is the proud mother of one daughter, Julia who is an attorney and mother of Andrew and Virginia.
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