Chief Executive Officer
Al Jerome joined KCET in February 1, 1996 as president and CEO with three decades of commercial television experience. Since then, Jerome has forged an entrepreneurial approach that has guided the station throughout his 17-year tenure. In October 2012, Jerome led the station through a merger with Link Media to form KCETLink. The new organization is poised to introduce a new model for independent public media, driving digital innovation, creating sustainable growth and serving the public interest. KCETLink, based in a new state-of-the-art facility in Burbank, reaches 33 million national subscribers via DISH and DirecTV satellite networks, and 5.6 million households in Southern and Central California.
Prior to the merger in January, 2011, Jerome created the nationʼs largest independent public television station by ending KCETʼs long association with PBS in order to concentrate its resources on serving the creative, diverse population of Southern California.
While a member station of PBS, Jerome was instrumental in launching several important initiatives, including the Peabody Award-winning series, A Place of Our Own and the Spanish language companion Los Ninos en Su Casa, the first series dedicated to the unique needs of preschool child caregivers and parents to enable them to better prepare their children to enter school. Also, KCET co-produced, with Gregory Nava, the first dramatic series on television to feature a Latino family, American Family, with stars including Edward J. Olmos and Raquel Welch.
Under Jeromeʼs leadership, KCET also produced a series of five dramatic productions, show-casing the talents of Southern Californiaʼs entertainment community, entitled PBS Hollywood Presents. These productions featured the talents of Dick Van Dyke, Mary Tyler Moore, Richard Dreyfus, Rita Moreno, Daniel Craig, Debbie Allen and Phylicia Rashad, among many others.
Jerome has championed a strong commitment to news and informational programming. The stationʼs current signature news magazine program, SoCal Connected, is a hard-hitting, multi-platform news program that has been honored with a George Foster Peabody Award and two dupont-Columbia Awards for journalism. For the first seven seasons, KCET was the co-producer of Tavis Smiley on PBS, the first daily discussion program featuring an African-American host. Jerome also secured a marketing-distribution partnership for KCET with BBC World News, a successful collaboration that has resulted in BBC World News reaching 97% of the U.S. television households.
Finally, KCET became the first television station to carry Al Jazeera English news, as part of its international news emphasis that also includes English language newscasts from NHK/Japan.
Prior to KCET, Jerome had a successful career in commercial broadcasting. His early experience was in sales and sales management at ABC and CBS. In 1975, he began a 17-year association with NBC that included a decade as President of the NBC Television Station Group, with responsibility for the company-owned affiliates in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, Cleveland, Miami and Denver, as well as NBC Spot Sales. He also served as Vice President and General Manager of WNBC-TV/New York.
In 1992, Jerome was recruited to be President and Chief Executive Officer of SpectraVision, Inc., the hotel industryʼs leading provider of pay-per-view entertainment and interactive television programming.
A New York native, Jerome is a graduate of Cornell University, with an A. B. in History. He also earned a Masters of Business Administration from New York University. He is married with three grown sons and two grandchildren.