WASHINGTON—As one door closes, another opens with the announcement that the Pacific Mountain Network (PMN) will be closing up shop after nearly 40 years. The regional public television organization will transfer the last of its $700,000 in funds to America’s Public Television Stations (APTS) for the creation of the Bornstein-Pacific Mountain Network Fund for Strategic Communications, which will look to “enhance public TV’s ability to communicate its value to the public, strategic partners and funders,” per APTS.
PMN was established in 1978 as one of the four major regional public television networks, covering stations in the Rocky Mountain and Pacific states. It provided regional instructional, cultural and enrichment sources, as well as interconnection services. In the 1990s, the mission of PMN shifted from being a traditional operating regional network to a non-profit educational foundation.
The closing of PMN coincides with Ron Bornstein’s retirement at the end of the 2017 fiscal year. Bornstein is the long-time executive director for PMN.
“When Ron announced his intention to retire, it prompted our membership to assess what PMN should be going forward,” said Kurt Mische, chair of PMN’s Executive Council and president/CEO of KNPB-TV. “While the organization gave voice to stations in the Pacific Intermountain West and provided some modest production grants each year, we felt there was more that could be accomplished with our funds. After work by a task force of our membership, we proposed the transfer of our fund corpus to APTS in order to create this fund that will benefit all of public television and radio.”
“The Fund will enable us to tell public television’s story of public service more comprehensively and compellingly than it’s ever been told before,” said Patrick Butler, APTS president and CEO. “This is a transformative event in the history of both our organizations, and America’s Public Television Stations Pledge to make the most of the resources PMN has made available to ensure this system’s future success.”