Sep 28, 2009

Ken Burns, in perpetual motion

Where in the world was Ken Burns when his 10-year project, National Parks: America's Best Idea, had its PBS premiere last night? Watching it alone, in his Washington, D.C., hotel room. "I like to watch it when everyone else does," Burns told Current after a National Press Club event today. The energetic documentarian has been making appearances for the project since July 2008, and hasn't been back home to Walpole, N.H., since Aug. 21. That's not all: He's working on half a dozen projects simultaneously. How does he do it? Check out the upcoming Current for an inside look.

Top pubcasters' salaries listed in newspaper survey

Twenty pubcasters are included in The Chronicle of Philanthropy's executive compensation survey for the nation's top foundations and charities. Figures reflected end of fiscal 2008. The Chronicle's survey examined 325 organizations that are among those raising the most money from private sources in 2008, as well as grant makers holding the largest assets. Former NPR C.E.O. Kenneth Stern, who departed in 2008, is atop the pubcasting list, receiving $1,319,541 as part of his four-year contract. Another former exec, PBS C.O.O. Wayne Godwin, who served from 2000 to 2008, was paid $398,063. Current PBS C.E.O. Paula Kerger, $534,500, up from $424,209 at end of fiscal 2007. Rounding out the list, in descending order: Laura Walker, c.e.o. of WNYC Radio, $474,808; Al Jerome, KCET president, $426,688; Jeff Clarke, c.e.o., Northern California Public Broadcasting, $406,501; Neal Shapiro, WNET president, $400,570; Sharon Percy Rockefeller, WETA president, $391,904; Thomas Conway, WNET v.p., $374,321; Daniel Schmidt, WTTW president, $347,491; William Kling, Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media president, $347,217; Jonathan Abbott, WGBH president, $337,870; Jon McTaggart, MPR/APR c.e.o., $313,967; Joseph Bruns, WETA executive v.p., $303,108; Linda O'Bryon, Northern California Public Broadcasting chief content officer, $282,360; Paula Apsell, senior exec producer at WGBH, $278,209; Dean Cappello, chief creative officer, WNYC Radio, $272,072; Deborah Hinton, KCET exec v.p., $251,446; Dennis Haarsager, NPR interim c.e.o., $219,369; and Reese Marcusson, WTTW c.f.o., $214,397. Some 30 percent of the country's nonprofit leaders took a pay cut this year, according to the Chronicle. Median compensation for chief executives at the organizations surveyed was $361,538. The highest paid nonprofit exec is James J. Mongan of Partners HealthCare System in Boston, whose compensation in 2008 topped $2.7 million, a 99 percent increase over his 2007 pay.