Deborah Acklin, President and Chief Executive Officer WQED Multimedia, Pittsburgh, PA

What do you believe is currently the biggest challenge in public media?

  • Consistent and sustainable funding
  • New leadership at stations

What is the best advice you have received from an employee?

Be yourself

What is the best advice you have received from a CEO of another station?

The one who told me when he made changes to the station, a member of the public spit on him….it was advice conveyed through a true story that reminded me to have the courage of my convictions even when the people who decide to oppose me act despicably.

What is your favorite public television program and why?

ARS (Antiques Roadshow), it's populist and popular.

Any advice to those interested in a leadership position in public media?

Get along with people. Don't take yourself too seriously.

What are the top three leadership qualities you believe all CEOs should have?

  • Humility
  • Kindness
  • Financial knowledge

If you were not a CEO right now, what would you like to be?

A veterinarian

Uber, Lyft or taxi?


Regular or decaf?


Morning or night traveling?


Do you honestly like to be in business attire? 

Hell, no.