When Doug Myrland retired on the finish of 2008 as KPBS common supervisor, a nationwide seek for the chief of San Diego’s public radio and TV station yielded two finalists — Tom Karlo and Deanna Mackey.
Karlo received the job. Mackey will get the final chortle.
In late April, broadcast veteran Mackey was named Karlo’s everlasting successor. Not introduced was her base wage — and the actual fact it tops Karlo’s by 10%.
Mackey, 56, will make $290,000 a yr after easing into the job part-time beginning June 30. In accordance with CalPERS, she’ll even be eligible for an annual benefit bonus of “as much as 10% of your annual wage.” Karlo’s base pay in 2020 was $263,656.
(Mackey should quit her annual state pension of practically $37,000 from having labored her method up KPBS ranks till her 2015 retirement because the station’s COO, CalPERS mentioned.)
Mackey, a College Metropolis resident married 4 years to retired Medal of Valor lifeguard Chris Ingalls, thus turned a hero to the San Diego-based group she co-founded to assist ladies attain the C-suites of public tv.
That group — Public Media Ladies in Management — has amongst its goals serving to “higher put together ladies with potential to grow to be future CEOs/COOs within the system.”
Mackey says she was amongst 4 finalists for GM, recruited in February after one other nationwide search was launched in December 2021 — a yr after Karlo retired, giving technique to interim GM Nancy Worlie.
Mackey was chosen by San Diego State College President Adela de la Torre after vetting by a search committee of KPBS employees, college reps and group members.
The press launch telling her choice touted her Latin ancestry. She turned “the primary lady of coloration to steer KPBS.” (She’ll be working full time beginning in August.)
Mackey’s full title — Deanna Martin Mackey — steered to some that her center title was pronounced Mar-TEEN per Spanish. In truth, Mackey’s father (Michael Martin) is Irish-American, she mentioned in an interview.
Her still-living mom Connie —whose maiden title is Velazquez — is from Nicaragua.
When Deanna Maria Martin was first married — to Robert Mackey till 2009 — she took his final title. They’d two daughters and a son, with the youngest woman quickly heading to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Now she’s the incoming chief of San Diego’s NPR and PBS affiliate, the area’s No. 2 radio station (and typically No. 1 in viewers rankings). A current interview reveals Mackey’s plans for programming, staffing and fund-raising — and new particulars of her private historical past.
Mackey was born in San Francisco and grew up in Petaluma — one in all two sisters. She was a champion grade-school swimmer with the Petaluma Swim Membership, hit house runs in women softball and graduated from Petaluma Excessive Faculty in 1983, a daily member of the Honor Roll.
The 1988 SDSU journalism and political science graduate (and high editor of The Each day Aztec) married Robert William Mackey Jr., a Domino’s Pizza space supervisor, in February 1990 at historic St. Joseph’s Church in San Francisco, based on her native newspaper. They made their house in La Jolla.
After working at a bridal journal in Encinitas, Mackey joined KPBS in 1990 as managing editor of On Air journal. Then she climbed the ladder from KPBS media relations coordinator to PR director to affiliate common supervisor (in 1998) and finally station supervisor and chief working officer (in 2009).
Alongside the best way, she based One E-book One San Diego — the group studying program and partnership with native library methods.
In August 2015, she turned president and govt director of the 40-station Public Tv Main Market Group, which “strives to develop and implement excessive impression, financially sustainable enterprise fashions for public media that allow us to greatest serve our communities.”
So how will Mackey steer KPBS in a time of fractured media habits and declining revenues?
Her newsroom can be glad to study that extra layoffs aren’t within the offing — two years after KPBS lower three union employees members and sliced hours of 15 others by half.
“I don’t see that as a priority within the close to future, primarily based on what I’ve seen of the funds,” Mackey mentioned in a convention room interview late final month on the San Diego State College Analysis Basis, which operates the multimedia station.
She doesn’t suppose the viewers will discover any modifications.
However whereas being interviewed for the job, she mentioned, “I did speak about the place I believe there are alternatives.”
Acknowledging that the station has “improbable content material” and does a “actually good job serving the group,” Mackey mentioned she’d be taking a look at methods to serve sure audiences “extra deeply” and create “extra experiences for them across the content material, whether or not that’s occasions or digital experiences, and many others.”
She specified the Latino group and younger individuals for engagement, particularly SDSU and different faculty college students.
Mackey confirmed that KPBS has been working to spice up Hispanic sourcing in its reviews — with a purpose of 35% of these quoted in tales.
“I don’t find out about its standing, however I do know that within the station’s strategic plan it’s detailed in regards to the station’s diversification of sourcing,” she mentioned, “and even once I was right here seven years in the past the station was transferring towards that.”
She referred to as it “essential” to have sourcing from all parts of the group. “And the Latino group in San Diego is massive and rising.”
Mackey mentioned she’d handle any questions on newsroom range “in a couple of months as a result of I’m nonetheless assembly everyone. There are lots of new individuals since I left seven years in the past that I don’t even know.”
(Considered one of her targets is to fulfill everyone, “whether or not in individual or nearly over the subsequent six months,” she mentioned. She’s conducting one-on-one conferences now.)
KPBS has tried a wide range of methods to boost cash — tweaking its radio “pledge breaks” over time in addition to on the lookout for big-money donors through property planning and wills. However Mackey says the station will “proceed to make” extra funding in digital fund-raising.
“The long run audiences are all going to return from digital,” she mentioned. “So in an effort to plan for the longer term, you need to hold serving the audiences you will have however acknowledge that just about nearly all of viewers underneath 65 are accessing our station and different stations’ content material by on-demand, by streaming, by digital providers.”
As a result of pandemic, she mentioned, digital entry to KPBS is going on “even sooner than everyone anticipated.”
The 60,000-member station wants to have interaction massive and various audiences, she mentioned.
“They’re very extensive in age, a lot broader in age in digital. They’re extra ethnically and racially various on digital,” Mackey mentioned. “So understanding these audiences higher, determining the best way to get them to make use of the content material extra digitallly and feeling engaged sufficient to provide (cash) digitally is absolutely the place the longer term is.”
Would this entail much less reliance on what some listeners take into account annoying pledge breaks?
“I don’t know but precisely how that impacts broadcast pledge,” she mentioned. “I believe lots of the information that’s come out has been fairly current and so all stations are grappling with the way you create that steadiness.”
For certain, KPBS will proceed having two fund-raising arms — a small-donor effort and a major-donor growth division.
“I believe you completely need to do each,” she mentioned. “Main donors permit funding of initiatives that may not have been in a position to be funded shortly — whether or not it’s capital or initiatives. Main donors will be people or will be household foundations, or granters, and many others.”
One other factor unlikely to alter is KPBS’ concentrate on native information and cultural data. That path was set by Karlo, who expanded the newsroom, and processors who shed packages (like “A Method with Phrases”) that had been syndicated nationally.
That’s in contrast to the three important producing stations — Boston’s GBH, New York’s WNET and D.C.’s WETA.
“As COO (with GM Karlo), we labored collectively to construct the newsroom, and I believe that on this market, the necessity for information and the necessity for balanced content material like KPBS gives is absolutely essential,” Mackey mentioned. “I believe that it’s not that KPBS couldn’t create content material that goes nationwide, however definitely on the information aspect they do. Their tales find yourself on NPR and on the ‘NewsHour.’ However the core want on this group now could be to be served domestically.”
However modifications are in retailer for inewsource, the nonprofit investigative outlet with KPBS as its major companion.
“I believe it’s evolving as a result of after we transfer again into the constructing, it’s my understanding they’re not going to be embedded anymore,” Mackey mentioned. “However there’ll nonetheless be the content material partnership, which I’m very glad about.”
(KPBS headquarters at 5200 Campanile Drive on the japanese fringe of SDSU is present process a $50 million, 56,000-square-foot renovation and growth. Its “nondescript” constructing has been referred to as “drab, grey and miserable.” It’s due for completion in November.)
NPR and PBS have been slammed for an alleged liberal bias.
Mackey — a former Democrat who up to now decade has registered as “No Social gathering Choice” and American Impartial — cites her journalistic coaching when requested about how KPBS will steadiness political protection within the period of the Massive Lie.
“I’d say the station has an obligation to have each side heard,” she mentioned. “So clearly in the event you’re a Republican candidate … if we’re having the Democratic candidate … to have an opportunity to talk.”
However she counts on her reporters and editors to verify the data an individual would probably say in an interview and “name them out on it — if it isn’t correct.”
“I believe we noticed that on NPR just lately,” Mackey mentioned. “It was very skillfully carried out, with a candidate who was advocating lots of data that’s simply … not true and never factual.”
She says a KPBS staffer can be anticipated to counter: “You’re saying this, however the [vetted] info … are displaying this” different factor. “That does occur and folks, they don’t prefer it, however I believe now we have an obligation to be telling the reality.”
One matter she wavers on: Would her new job be her final?
“I’d say in all probability,” she started. “, I’m actually enthusiastic about this job. I’m fully honored to have the ability to come again and be the chief and implement a tradition of inclusion with the employees and engagement with our viewers and members.”
Then she added: “However you by no means know what’s coming down the pike. I don’t know if one other alternative will come down. I’m not planning on it. I’m not anticipating it. So I don’t know.”