April 21, 2009
STORRS, Conn. - Jerry Franklin, the president and chief executive officer of Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc. (CPBI), will be honored on Tuesday night by The UConn Club with its Outstanding Contribution Award at its Annual Awards Dinner in Cromwell.
A leader in mass media for more than 26 years, Franklin was appointed to his current position at the Hartford-based broadcasting company in 1985. His responsibilities include overseeing Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) and Connecticut Public Radio (WNPR), a state network of four television stations, five radio stations and two cable television channel services, CPTV2 and the Connecticut Sports Network (a joint venture with WFSB, Channel 3); a for-profit production company, MediaVision; a publishing partnership with Connecticut Magazine; and a national satellite uplink service.
Franklin has been one of the keys players in the unique relationship between CPTV and the University of Connecticut in the televising of women's basketball games. CPTV began its coverage of UConn women's basketball late in the 1993-94 season and recently concluded its 16th year as the exclusive local market television partner for the program.
During those past 15 seasons, CPTV has televised a total of 328 UConn women's basketball games. In those 328 games, Connecticut has compiled a stunning 320-8 overall record. During the national championship season of 2008-09, CPTV carried a total of 28 UConn women's basketball games.
The University and CPTV take great pride in the fact that UConn women's basketball on CPTV continues to be the highest-rated locally produced public television program in the nation. In addition to the UConn games, CPTV is also the home of "The Geno Auriemma Show," which appears regularly during the season.
Under Franklin's leadership, CPTV has won 69 regional Emmy Awards and six Golden Eagle Awards and WNPR has earned seven Mark Twain Awards from the Associated Press, two George Foster Peabody Awards, two Gracie Allen Awards and two Ohio State Awards for Broadcast Excellence.
During Franklin's tenure, CPBI has experienced unprecedented expansion. In 2003, an $80 million campaign was launched to convert the statewide analog facility to digital technology, construct a new physical plant and create an endowment. The conversion to digital and the new facility are complete at a cost of $30 million with no debt.
Franklin has been instrumental in the growth of national programming at Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc. Until this past March, CPTV was the most prolific producer/presenter of children's programs for PBS - with six series in national distribution.
A frequent speaker for legislation before the United States Congress and Connecticut General Assembly, Franklin enjoys a statewide leadership position within Connecticut. He was appointed by former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros to serve on a national committee to evaluate and develop federal/state policy for the nation's urban centers.
In addition, he serves locally on the board of trustees of the Hartford Stage, The Hartford Club and the Connecticut Boy Scouts Executive Council. He is a director of People's United Bank, the largest Connecticut-based bank; and is a former governing partner of Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance (SINA), an award-winning, education-based urban partnership that has received national recognition and raised over $120 million to strengthen Hartford's neighborhoods.
Prior to joining Connecticut Public Broadcasting, Inc., Franklin served as general manager of WGBY-TV for the WGBH Educational Foundation in Boston, Massachusetts.