Mission: PBS and more than 350 local stations offer every American opportunities to experience new places, explore new ideas and discover new worlds
PBS is America’s largest classroom, the nation’s largest stage for the arts and a trusted window to the world. PBS’ employees reflect our diverse audiences and are committed to PBS’ mission of creating content to educate, inform and inspire.
PBS offers employment opportunities in a variety of disciplines including communications, creative services, programming, interactive services, information technology, development, engineering, accounting and many other areas.
All positions are at PBS headquarters in the Washington, D.C. area unless otherwise noted.
PBS is America’s largest classroom, the nation’s largest stage for the arts and a trusted window to the world.
America’s Largest Classroom
As America’s largest classroom, PBS is available to all of America’s children – including those who can’t attend preschool – and offers educational media that help prepare children for success in school. PBS is the No. 1 source of media content for preschool teachers and a leading place parents turn to for preschool video online, withcontent proven to improve critical literacy skills in young children.
America’s Largest Stage
At a time when funding for music and arts within our schools is being cut, PBS is helping to keep the arts alive today and for generations to come by ensuring the worlds of music, theater, dance and art remain available to all Americans, many of whom might never have had the opportunity to experience them otherwise. During the 2011-'12 season, PBS offered more than 500 hours of arts and cultural programming, which was watched by nearly 117 million people.
A Trusted Window to the World
PBS offers programming for a wide range of ages, interests and genres. Each month, nearly 120 million people through television and over 29 million people online explore the worlds of science, history, culture, great literature and public affairs through PBS’ trusted content.
Why work for PBS? Here's what some of our employees have to say about why PBS is a great place to work.
“We truly utilize the power of the television medium to educate and inform. Television is unique in its ability to present culture, diversity and difficult concepts and PBS works hard to offer the best programming that does the most good.” – Karen Neckyfarow, Assistant Director of Program Underwriting Policy
“The staff here makes a difference.” – Donald Thoms, Vice President, Programming, General Audience
“It resonates with everyone. I’m amazed at the wide smiles I get when I tell people I work at PBS. PBS is something special.” – Keith Brengle, Director of Online Giving
“We take great pride in our audience and users and treat them with class, striving to give them the kind of story and characters they deserve.” – Brad Pettingell, Assistant Director for Kids Programming
Benefits at PBS
PBS offers competitive salaries. As an employee-oriented company, PBS also offers an outstanding benefits package. Highlights include:
PBS is a consistent leader in television’s most prestigious competitions. Some of the major awards and nominations PBS has received in the 2012-2013 awards year include:
12 Daytime Emmy Awards (39th Annual), including eight for SESAME STREET, two for THE ELECTRIC COMPANY, one for WORDGIRL and one for DESIGN SQUAD, in the New Approaches – Daytime Children’s category – a sign of PBS’s continuing drive towards innovation.
12 Primetime Emmy Awards (64th Annual), including four for MASTERPIECE CLASSIC "Great Expectations," three for MASTERPIECE CLASSIC "Downton Abbey," and one each for MASTERPIECE CONTEMPORARY "Page Eight," GREAT PERFORMANCES "Memphis," PROHIBITION, INDEPENDENT LENS "Have You Heard from Johannesburg," and SESAME STREET: GROWING HOPE AGAINST HUNGER.
9 News & Documentary Emmy Awards (33rd Annual), more than any other organization. This includes five awards for POV, two for FRONTLINE and one each for INDEPENDENT LENS "The Woodmans" and NATURE "My Life as a Turkey."
7 George Foster Peabody Awards (71st Annual), more than any other organization, for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE, POV "My Perestroika," POV "StoryCorps 9/11," INDEPENDENT LENS "Bhutto," AMERICAN MASTERS "Charles and Ray Eames - The Architect and the Painter," AUSTIN CITY LIMITS and NOVA "Surviving the Tsunami."
1 Golden Globe Award (70th Annual) for MASTERPIECE CLASSIC "Downton Abbey" star Maggie Smith.
2 Academy Award nominations (85th Annual) for INDEPENDENT LENS “The Invisible War” and POV "5 Broken Cameras."
4 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards (2013) for INDEPENDENT LENS "Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry," POV "StoryCorps 9/11," and FRONTLINE's "The Interrupters" and "Opium Brides."
1 Television Critics Association Award (2012) for MASTERPIECE CLASSIC "Downton Abbey, Season 2."
2 IDA Documentary Awards (2012) for AMERICAN MASTERS and INDEPENDENT LENS "The Island President."
3 Writers Guild of America Awards (2013), for FRONTLINE “Money, Power and Wall Street”, SESAME STREET “The Good Sport” and NOVA “The Fabric of the Cosmos: The Illusion of Time."
1 Screen Actors Guild Award (19th Annual) for the cast of MASTERPIECE CLASSIC "Downton Abbey."
2 Arqiva British Academy Television Awards from BAFTA (2012) for Steven Moffat and Andrew Scott for MASTERPIECE MYSTERY! "Sherlock."
2 Producers Guild Awards (24th Annual) for AMERICAN MASTERS and SESAME STREET.
1 American Society of Cinematographers Award nomination (27th Annual) for MASTERPIECE CLASSIC "Great Expectations."
1 Sundance Film Festival Awards (2013), for POV "American Promise."
2 Wildscreen Panda Awards (2012), including the top honor, the WWF Golden Panda Award, for NATURE "My Life as a Turkey."
4 Jackson Hole Science Media Awards (2012), including two for NOVA "The Fabric of the Cosmos," and one each for NOVA "Separating Twins" and BONES OF TURKANA.
4 Film Independent Spirit Award nominations (2013), including one each for THE CENTRAL PARK FIVE and INDEPENDENT LENS "The Invisible War" and two for INDEPENDENT LENS "The Waiting Room."
6 Gracie Awards (2012) for the PBS system, including awards for WORDGIRL and WOMEN, WAR & PEACE.
3 Imagen Awards (2012) for FRONTLINE "Lost in Detention", GREAT PERFORMANCES "Il Postino From LA Opera" and NOAH COMPRENDE.
18 Parents’ Choice Awards (2012); 8 Parents' Choice Awards for Television, including gold awards for THE ELECTRIC COMPANY, SID THE SCIENCE KID and SESAME STREET; 3 Parents' Choice Awards for Small Screen, including awards for THE ELECTRIC COMPANY and CURIOUS GEORGE.
3 Webby Awards (16th Annual), including two for SESAME STREET and one for RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY. In total, PBS producers received nine nominations; an additional 10 honorees from PBS and PBS producers were also selected.
6 Kidscreen Awards (2013), including PBS KIDS being nominated for Channel of the Year and Best Channel Website.
In the Q&A below, get to know more about PBS'er Chris Bishop. Chris has been Creative Director at PBS KIDS since 2000. He led the charge for the recent relaunch of PBSKIDS.org and is the mastermind behind the all-new PBS KIDS brand designs. Outside of the office, Chris is an accomplished artist and illustrator.
Q. You’ve been with PBS for 13 years. Tell us about a few professional highlights at the organization, and why are they memorable to you?
The biggest highlight has to be the new PBS KIDS brand redesign. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to pitch a concept and very proud to have had it rise to the top in a competitive field of very good external firms. I enjoyed working with our internal team to refine the concept – those are some smart people.
Aside from that, I've done a lot of random, fun things over the years… I went to Pittsburgh to direct a photo shoot with Mister McFeely. I spoke with Fred Rogers on the phone once when I was working on a game for his site. I shook hands with George Costanza in the elevator. I high-fived Mr. Carson. I touched Telly's nose. I built Crystal City out of cardboard for the company holiday party. I talked snakes with Martin Kratt over beers. I talked caterpillars with Eric Carle. I knocked an ornament off of Jim Lehrer's Christmas tree and helped Judy Woodruff sweep it up.
I think one really interesting thing we've done was going to a tiny house in rural Indiana to watch one child interact with our website and take notes. You get the best ideas from watching kids play with the website in person.
Q. Tell us about the new PBS KIDS brand package. What was your thought process behind the changes?
The idea was to design the next step for the PBS KIDS brand while not scrapping everything completely for a new direction with no ties to the previous brand. We wanted it to feel like PBS KIDS had evolved but was still familiar.
To help the brand appeal to kids all the way up to eight, we made the character Dot a little older and put her in the guide-type roll her brother Dash used to be in. Now SHE leads her new twin younger brother and sister in exploring and adventuring. The gang is no longer limited to backyards and bedrooms – they can shrink down and explore under the couch, they can go into space, they can even climb up a volcano to grill hot dogs.
For design elements, we went with a vibrant palette of magenta, turquoise, yellow, blue and green as well as flat areas of color and line drawing. It has a contemporary feel and allows the exact same visuals to cross over from TV to web to print without having to simplify them for any medium.
Q. What are the biggest changes to the new PBSKIDS.org?
PBSKIDS.org is no longer built in Flash so the site will now work on phones and tablets. Additionally, the site is built responsively so it will resize and change layout to adapt to the device it's being viewed on - a phone, a tablet, a desktop, a tv or something that habeen invented yet. Also you will notice we've substantially increased our video size so that it's practically a full-screen experience.
The biggest thing that hasn't changed is the show wheel on the homepage. We found in testing that the wheel is a fun and effective way for kids to find their favorite show. In user testing, we showed one girl a prototype of the site without the wheel and she refused to believe it was PBS KIDS! She typed in pbskids.org and showed us the wheel on the previous site and told us THIS was PBS KIDS. So, yeah, after that we had to keep it.
Q. Who would you say has had the biggest influence on your career in design, and why?
My old boss Dan Willis really opened my eyes to user experience and putting the user's needs first over everything. Otherwise, I don't really follow design much. I think Nintendo has been a big influence on me over the years. The are constantly re-inventing how they make games and ignoring how everyone else is doing things. That’s what I strive for when I design stuff for kids.
Q. Where did you grow up? What do you like or miss most about your hometown?
I grew up in Syracuse, NY. My favorite thing about Syracuse is how crazy the whole city is about Syracuse University basketball. From birth, you are raised to be a fan and to *ahem* strongly dislike Georgetown. I also miss the snow but my mom says that's because I am remembering it fondly and not having to deal with it daily.
Q. Where did you go to school? What’s your degree in and what drew you to your major?
I went to the State University of New York at Fredonia but I actually didn't study web design. I got a BFA in Fine Arts with a concentration in Drawing and I taught myself web design after college. Turns out web design skill and illustration skill is a good combo when designing for kids. I make sure everyone I hire knows how to draw.
I've been an artist ever since I was little so I knew early that art was going to be my focus. I was lucky to have very supportive parents.
Q. And finally, finish this sentence: PBS is special because…
…of the people. I’ve never seen so many people dedicated to doing right by our audience, our legacy and our mission. We couldn't do everything we've done without that passion. It just wouldn't work.
And, also, the 75 cent soda cans on the bottom row of the second floor vending machine.
Excellent training and mentoring for interns
Unpaid internship so that was a drawback
I applied online. The process took 4+ weeks. I interviewed at PBS (Washington, DC).
I applied online to a job I was eminently well qualified for. I don't say that out of ego, but because I could check "yes" to every single one of their "required" and "preferred" qualifications and I also happened to be a huge fan of PBS. So, I was very happy when, 2 weeks later, a recruiter contacted me for my first phone interview. This first phone interview with the recruiter appeared to go very well. She herself gave me positive feedback before we hung up. That same week, she asked my availability for a phone interview with the hiring manager (a director level). The hiring manager, a marketing director, conducted my second phone interview, which also seemed to go very well. She began with the very standard background/'tell me about yourself' questions and then dove right into very specific questions about PBS, its brand positioning and it's current promotional marketing strategies. I'm a lifelong PBS fan, have a good deal of media experience and did my homework on PBS' challenges and opportunities. I was able to answer all of her questions without hesitation and with very specific examples of how I would approach the brand's unique challenges in an ever-changing media landscape. Throughout the interview, the hiring manager told me that my answers were exactly what she was looking for, or "very perceptive", or "insightful" and that I clearly understood the brand. We seemed to get along very well and it appeared that I'd also demonstrated that I was a cultural fit. She informed me that I'd be hearing back on next steps - which would involve on-site interview(s) with her and members of her team. She also assured me that I would hear back from someone at PBS regardless of whether I was moving on to the next step. She told me to expect to hear back within a week. I sent her a brief thank you email with a link to my online portfolio later that day. A week passed and I didn't hear anything. I sent a brief follow up email to her after 10 days. 15 days passed and I still hadn't heard anything, so I sent a brief follow up email to the recruiter who had conducted my first phone interview. That email also remained unanswered. 30 days passed without so much as an automated 'thank you for applying, but we've hired someone else email'. In fact, I never heard a peep from them again. I have no sense of entitlement here. It's fine if they found someone they think was better qualified or who would accept a lower salary. But I'm kind of shocked and a bit disappointed that both a director level in brand marketing and a sr. recruiter don't realize that they are, essentially, the business-to-employee marketing department during the hiring process. They are clearly coasting by on the already stellar brand perception that PBS has and seem to believe that it's perfectly acceptable not to take 30 seconds out of their - no doubt - very busy schedules to send an email to candidates they're not moving ahead with. Sometimes, actions speak louder than words and it appears that PBS's HR and marketing teams are disorganized and inconsiderate. Shame that such a great brand is being represented with such ineptitude.
Let us know if we're missing any workplace or industry recognition –