PBS Reviews in Arlington, VA | Glassdoor

PBS Arlington Reviews

Updated July 27, 2017
35 reviews

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Arlington, VA

3.6
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PBS President, CEO, and Director Paula A. Kerger
Paula A. Kerger
25 Ratings

35 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Also, the work life balance is great (in 12 reviews)

  • Great salary - great people to work with (in 5 reviews)

Cons
  • Because it's a non-profit the pay is not high - but that is to be expected (in 11 reviews)

  • Upper management expects too much of their teams (in 6 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Really look at who does the work..."

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - PBS Creative in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - PBS Creative in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at PBS full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Great culture, truly nice and welcoming people... Coming from a harsher media atmosphere, I have to say, PBS is a great place to learn without fear. People are supportive, and open to new ideas. Small teams/non-profit status means you wear a lot of hats, and if you want to and are motivated, there's opportunities to take on projects well over your pay grade.

    Cons

    The discrepancies of work loads between departments, and even team members within the same department, is staggering. Some average people in certain departments get promoted seemingly every year, while some truly shining stars in other fast-paced departments, like Marketing and Programming, stay in the same overworked spot for years. Perks and access to travel/professional development opportunities between departments vary widely as well. HR should really take a look at this - It's at the whim of department VPs, and should be standardized.

    Much of mid-level management could honestly be trimmed... Managing up is a real problem across the whole company.

    Advice to Management

    Upper management really needs to incentivize those talented mid-to-early career employees who do most of the work, and who we underpay and continually lose to other companies who realize their value.


  2. "Associate Director"

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    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at PBS full-time

    Pros

    Friendly people but passive aggressive

    Cons

    Everyone is a Director at PBS.
    Once you're hired the company sees you as "tainted" making career progression challenging.

  3. "Best Days Behind It"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at PBS full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    If you are looking for a good work-life balance, it would be hard to do better. PBS KIDS provides tremendous service to families.

    Cons

    Management is too focused on not rocking the boat with its member stations, and not focused on the audience.

    Advice to Management

    When you try to focus on too many things, you cannot do a good job of doing them all. Focus on fewer things that matter to making a difference (however you decide to define that).


  4. "Overall Good"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Intern - Applications Developer Intern in Arlington, VA
    Former Intern - Applications Developer Intern in Arlington, VA

    I worked at PBS as an intern (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Lot of fun activities, Good work, Nice people

    Cons

    Salary and employee benefits. Expect more than pay


  5. "Great Place to Work"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA

    I worked at PBS (More than 8 years)

    Pros

    Wonderful culture of people committed to their work.
    Being a part of the PBS mission.

    Cons

    Slowness of innovation and getting projects done collaboratively.
    Salary


  6. Helpful (5)

    "Rollercoaster of love, say what"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at PBS full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    There is room to shine if you can find a niche and there are many talented people in lower and middle management to director level who pour their hearts into their work because they care about public television and take pride in doing a good job. Benefits are pretty good--I have had better, and while salary is on the low end for my skills and experience, I have a lot of autonomy about how I do my job and the support of a strong supervisor who ensures I have good access to software and training. Solid policies and infrastructure, and there are very very few stupid people in the building. Almost everyone is smart. That is an enormous plus.

    Cons

    Upper management frequently comes across as siloed and territorial. There have been some efforts at collaboration but because these efforts rarely happen at the levels where the work actually gets done, divisions almost operate almost as separate companies. People tend to not know others outside their immediate reporting structures, unless they are in a unit that serves other portions of the organization. This is a big weakness.

    This weakness is not the design of a grand villain, it's just overworked people trying to maintain control of a slice of the pie they care about. So many unsung heroes like those in facilities and IT support--infrastructure is well planned and headed in the right direction but grossly under-resourced. There is lots of waste in duplication. In most membership organizations, member services manages the flow of information to members, but governance is very weak at PBS. The organization values autonomy -- and it is a two-edged sword. Untidy inner workings, snide comments and gossip means contradictory information is disseminated to customers, eroding their trust the organization. And it's hard to unravel who said what. There is no organization wide CRM.

    Advice to Management

    Spend some time thinking about what really matters. Look at the patterns. PBS is part media company and part membership organization. Understand what being a membership organization means as well as what it means to be America's fifth largest TV network. Put some governance in place. Move people around so they don't all sit in their units. Retire some entrenched executives. Make space for 40-something managers to rise into director level positions. Value the people who are versatile and put them in places where their talents can bridge the divisions. Cross-pollinate people so that the media and the membership values infuse one another. We have a really good thing here, but it could be a whole lot better. It could actually Be More.


  7. "A place where you'll want to retire from"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Producer in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Producer in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at PBS full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The atmosphere is wonderful. Good gentle people with a positive working environment. People work here for many years, and a lot retire from here. It's also very rewarding - it feels good to do work that benefits people in mind and spirit. Also, the work life balance is great! If I were still living in that area of the country, I would have remained working there.

    Cons

    Because it's a non-profit the pay is not high - but that is to be expected.

    Advice to Management

    It would help not to get so bogged down in the decision making so that things could move faster. Sometimes the pace with which projects move are very slow. But other than that, it's a beautiful place!

  8. Helpful (1)

    "Vice President"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Vice President in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Vice President in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Inspiring mission and top-notch talent.

    Cons

    Complex set of stakeholders and fragmented system of customers.

    Advice to Management

    Focus cross-functional work.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Great people to work with"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Arlington, VA
    Current Employee - Senior Manager in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at PBS full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    friendly/helpful co-workers
    HR department invested in training employees
    403(b) contributions
    supports work/life balance
    diverse leadership (race, gender, etc.)

    Cons

    not remote work/tele-commuting friendly
    not much diversity at lower/departmental levels
    no clear promotion path


  10. Helpful (6)

    "A good place to start a media career"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Arlington, VA
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Extremely positive brand reputation, enthusiastic co-workers, relatively easy hours, decent benefits.

    PBS (I'm referring to the main headquarters in Crystal City) is a great place to start a career in media. If on the right team, you get a fair amount of autotomy and you can feel proud to be creating a quality product. Most co-workers are easy-going and good natured.

    Cons

    Confused/muddled overall strategic direction, weak upper management, absurd waste in certain areas (e.g. bad content and platforms) but penny-pinching in others (e.g. salary).

    As the rest of the media world is trying to rapidly innovate in a changing landscape, PBS always feels a few steps behind. Well-intentioned managers with poor strategic vision tend to delay and ruin projects. Lots of mid-career folks just parked at an easy job while raising kids. HR seems to ignore management quality issues that have led to high turnover rates in certain departments.

    Advice to Management

    Fix the management issues so that your youngest and brightest talent doesn't keep leaving for the exits.


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