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Clarence “C.C” Copeland Named President & CEO of Louisiana Public Broadcasting

Clarence Copeland
(Image credit: Louisiana Public Broadcasting)

BATON ROUGE, La.—At the June 9 meeting of the Louisiana Educational Television Authority (LETA), the Board of Directors announced that Clarence “C.C” Copeland has been named president and CEO of Louisiana Public Broadcasting.

Copeland has 42 years’ experience in television and is a 25-year veteran of LPB, most recently having served as LPB’s acting executive director since August 2021. He succeeds long-time leader, Beth Courtney, who retired as CEO in January 2022. The announcement comes after a four-month CEO search assisted by NETA Consulting, a national executive search and consulting group specializing in public media stations.

“It is a tremendous honor to be named president and CEO of Louisiana Public Broadcasting, especially to build upon Beth’s legacy,” Copeland said. “As we begin our 47th year on the air in September, we are excited to share more of Louisiana’s stories with audiences. At this pivotal point in LPB’s history, we also remain committed to expanding access to our content to all citizens through LPB’s leadership in broadcast and digital technology.”

Former CEO Beth Courtney added, “There’s no better person to lead LPB than C.C. He has a tremendous wealth of experience and expertise, and a diverse background in the broadcasting arena at the national level. He has already done amazing things for the betterment of Louisiana and now will have the opportunity to do even more.”

“C.C’s deep knowledge of the operations of the PBS system will serve LPB well going forward in a rapidly changing environment,” said LETA Chairman, Conrad Comeaux. “The LETA Board is looking forward to working with C.C in his new role as he leads LPB into the future.”

As president and CEO, Copeland will oversee the development of new content and the application of new technologies across existing and emerging platforms. He is committed to expanding community engagement and support for LPB’s award-winning programs and educational resources.

Prior to becoming president and CEO of Louisiana Public Broadcasting, Clarence “C.C” Copeland was appointed LPB acting executive director in August 2021 and deputy director in March 2021. After 16 years with NBC affiliate, WVLA, he joined LPB in 1997 as a television engineer, section manager, and then served as assistant director of engineering before being named director of engineering in 2014. In 2011, under his leadership, LPB became the first PBS station to air an NRT (Non-Real Time) program from a digital file, part of the current PBS Interconnect Project.

In 2015, Copeland joined the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) Engineering Technical Advisory Committee known as ETAC, and served as vice chair of ETAC in 2020. Copeland also led the agency’s FCC Television Spectrum Repack that began in 2016. This project, authorized by Congress, required television stations to be assigned new channels in order to create more channels for wireless broadband services.

Since Copeland was appointed acting executive director, LPB projects under his leadership have included: Louisiana Spotlight, a new quarterly documentary-style series examining issues important to Louisianans; Well Beings, an initiative exploring youth mental health; Safe Haven: Louisiana’s Green Book, a digital-to-broadcast series about the experiences of African American motorists in the Jim Crow era; Louisiana Harvest of the Month, a digital-first series in partnership with the LSU AgCenter; the 27th Annual Louisiana Young Heroes Program, recognizing exceptional high school students; virtual preview screenings from heralded and emerging filmmakers including Muhammad Ali: A Film by Ken Burns and Little Satchmo, from Reel South filmmaker Sharon Preston-Folta, daughter of Louis Armstrong; and numerous educational workshops presented to statewide audiences of educators and families.

C.C is a member of the National Society of Broadcast Engineers and the Louisiana Association of Broadcasters. He holds a Bachelors of Arts and a Master’s Degree in Mass Communication from Southern University and A&M College.

George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.