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Press Release

CHAPEL HILL – David Crabtree, award-winning broadcast journalist at WRAL, has been named interim chief executive officer of PBS North Carolina.

The appointment was announced Tuesday by University of North Carolina System President Peter Hans. PBS North Carolina, the statewide public media network, is an affiliate organization of the University of North Carolina System.

Crabtree is an anchor and reporter with more than 30 years in the television news industry. He has received numerous awards since joining WRAL in 1994, including Reporter of the Year four times from the Radio Television News Directors Association, Anchor of the Year from the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters, and 16 Emmy Awards. In 2007, Crabtree co-anchored a documentary that won the duPont-Columbia Award for outstanding reporting in the public interest.

His service at PBS North Carolina will begin April 1 on a part-time basis, and he will transition to the full-time role in June. He succeeds Lindsay Bierman, who stepped down this month to become executive director and CEO of the Exploratorium in San Francisco, California.

“David Crabtree’s excellence in journalism, experience in the television industry and deep knowledge of the state make him a perfect fit for PBS North Carolina,” Hans said. “I’m grateful to him for taking on this role at one of North Carolina’s most beloved institutions. I look forward to working with him as he leads PBS North Carolina into its next chapter.”

Crabtree is joining the organization after a record year marked by innovation, agility and growth. The network is navigating a rapidly changing media landscape, where content is proliferating across legacy and emerging platforms, and audiences have an ever-increasing set of options for consuming media. In January 2021, the organization changed its name from UNC-TV to PBS North Carolina Powered by the UNC System, encompassing its statewide broadcast reach to North Carolina’s 100 counties and its dual affiliation with the nation’s most trusted media brand and the state’s most transformative education and economic engine.

“PBS North Carolina is ready to meet the demands of the present, and the future,” said Jack Clayton, chair of the PBS North Carolina Board of Trustees. “We are pleased to welcome David Crabtree to the PBS North Carolina team at an exciting time for the organization. I know we will gain from his broadcasting expertise and his unwavering devotion to the state.”

To have the opportunity to build on the historic foundation of PBS NC is a gift and a major responsibility I take very seriously,” Crabtree said. “I am immensely grateful for the trust of the UNC System to serve the people of North Carolina.”

Building on its 67-year history at the forefront of educational television, PBS North Carolina was recently named one of three regional digital centers of innovation by PBS nationally and launched NextGen TV technology in the Greenville market. Recognized as a leader in NextGen TV application to public safety, PBS North Carolina is expanding its application to bridge the digital divide in its continuing effort to bring digital and educational equity to North Carolinians at large.

As one of the state’s largest nonprofits with more than 95,000 members, the organization is preparing for the launch of a statewide brand awareness and comprehensive fundraising campaign. Crabtree’s visibility and commitment to serve the community to educate, enlighten and empower the state dovetail with the campaign’s goal of elevating North Carolina’s communities to brighter tomorrows.

For more information on PBS North Carolina, visit pbsnc.org.

About The University of North Carolina System

The University of North Carolina System enrolls nearly 250,000 students at 17 campuses, including the state’s 16 public universities and the nation’s first public residential high school for academically gifted students. The UNC System is among the strongest and most diverse higher education systems in the country, with over $1.8 billion in research expenditures and universities that serve every region of the state.

About PBS North Carolina

As North Carolina’s statewide PBS network serving the country’s third largest public media market, PBS North Carolina educates, informs, entertains and inspires its audience on air, online and in person. Through its unique partnership of public investment and private support, the network includes in-person engagement, digital-first social and online content delivery and four over-the-air channels: PBS NC, the North Carolina Channel, Rootle 24/7 PBS Kids and the Explorer Channel. Additionally, PBS NC serves as the backbone for North Carolina’s state emergency services.


Media Contacts: 
Kathleen Kramer, PBS North Carolina Marketing & Communications