ITVS Board and Staff Changes

ITVS Elects New Board And Executive Committee Members And Announces Staff Changes

For Immediate Release 

Contact: Nancy Fishman, 415.356.8383 x226 or Lois Vossen, 415.356.8383 x235 or 

(San Francisco, CA)—Two veteran media professionals have joined the Independent Television Service (ITVS) board of directors. Their appointment was announced at the December 2002 public board meeting in San Francisco. They are Woodward Wickham, senior advisor to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and independent consultant on philanthropy, institutional development and strategic communications, and Lise Yasui, independent producer (The Gate of Heavenly Peace, Morning Sun, A Family Gathering) and media consultant. 

Woodward Wickham is currently senior advisor to the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and an independent consultant on philanthropy, institutional development and strategic communications. He was formerly vice president for public affairs and for the General Program at the MacArthur Foundation. Prior to that, Wickham was senior vice president of the New York based communications strategy firm Jan Krukowski Associates Inc. and director of development at Hampshire College. Wickham is currently chairman of the board of directors of Sound Portraits, Inc. and is on the board of The Benton Foundation and The New Press. He resides in Chicago, Illinois. 

Lise Yasui is a producer and a consultant to independent producers and nonprofits on documentary production. She was the co-producer of the Peabody Award-winning The Gate of Heavenly Peace, producer and director of the Academy Award-nominated A Family Gathering, and is currently consulting producer for Morning Sun. Yasui was the executive director of the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation, taught film production at Temple University and Scribe Video Center, served on the editorial advisory board of The American Documentary and as a board member for the National Asian American Telecommunications Association (NAATA). She is currently chair of the board of the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation and serves on the board of the William Penn Foundation. She resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 

A new executive committee of the board was also elected, effective immediately. This group consists of the following board officers: chair: Kevin Martin, chief operating officer for KERA/KDTN in Dallas, Texas; vice chair: Pat Aufderheide, professor of communication at American University; treasurer: Kristine Samuelson, professor in the Department of Communication, Stanford University; and secretary: David Haugland, an independent producer residing in Los Angeles. In addition, Chon Noriega, director of the Chicano Studies Research Center and a professor of film, television and digital media at UCLA and Mary Pruess, president and general manager of WNIT, South Bend, IN, were elected as executive committee at large members. For more information on the ITVS board members visit 

Departing board members were: Julia Pimsleur, an independent producer and former executive director of and LeeAnn Tallbear, an activist and educator. 

ITVS Executive Director Sally Jo Fifer also announced the following staff changes: Claire Aguilar, director of programming, will now oversee consolidated funding activities including program development as well as Open Call, LInCS and Electric Shadows. Aguilar has been director of programming at ITVS since 2000 and co-curates Independent Lens. Prior to that, she was program manager at KCET/Los Angeles, where she oversaw the broadcast schedule and program acquisition, and was film programmer at UCLA Film and Television Archive. She is vice president of the board of directors of the National Asian American Telecommunications Association (NAATA). 

David Liu will continue his long association with ITVS and now serve as editorial consultant, working with ITVS-funded producers and producers whose programs are acquired for Independent Lens. Liu is an Emmy Award winning producer who had previously served as director of programming at Lifetime Network. He belongs to the Writers Guild of America, sits on the International Board of INPUT, is a charter member of AIVF and was a founding member of NAATA. 

MaryAnn Thyken will assume the position of director of production. Her responsibilities will include overseeing the production of ITVS programs, from negotiation of contracts through production oversight, to final delivery and packaging for PBS broadcast. ITVS funds 30-40 programs per year and engages in extensive financial and administrative management, consulting with producers on technical, budgetary and legal matters. As the coordinating producer for Independent Lens, Thyken worked with filmmakers to package programs to PBS specifications and oversaw delivery to PBS. 

MaryAnn Thyken has 20 years of experience in public broadcasting. Emmy nominated for her television production work, she is the recipient of numerous PBS awards for promotion and design, and served as staff executive producer and station relations executive at KCET/Los Angeles. Thyken taught communications at UCLA for 14 years, including the history and effects of media and media law. She received her bachelor and masters degrees in film and television from UCLA. 

Lois Vossen will assume a full-time position as Independent Lens producer and co-curator as ITVS's new weekly primetime PBS series expands to its permanent 29-week (October to June) status, following its premiere in February. A search is in progress for a new director of communications, who is expected to begin in March. 

Vossen has been with ITVS since 1996 and served successfully as the director of broadcast distribution & communications since 1997. Before coming to ITVS, Vossen was the associate managing director and lab manager at the Sundance Institute from 1990-1994 where she oversaw administration and filmmaker activities for the Sundance Film Festival, managed the Filmmakers', Screenwriters' and Playwrights' Labs and Producers Conference, and programmed the Sundance Cinematheque film series at Robert Redford's Sundance Resort. Vossen worked with director Phillip Kaufman on the documentary Wild East. 

Patrick Wickham has been moved to the director of contract policy & digital initiatives after 10 years at ITVS, most recently as director of production. In his new position, Wickham will continue to serve as liaison to the public television system on policy and contract issues that affect independent producers and ITVS. He will work with PBS and other distribution entities on behalf of independent producers and ITVS on issues such as expanded contract rights in the multi-channel environment, supervise new media contract issues for initiatives like Electric Shadows and Independent Lens, and work closely with ITVS's executive director to formulate and establish new ITVS digital initiatives. 

As director of production since 2000, Wickham oversaw the production of ITVS programs. Before that, he worked for five years as an ITVS production manager and in other capacities. Previously he worked on the PBS series "Alive From Off Center.” His short experimental films have played at underground film festivals in the United States and Europe. 

About ITVS 

Independent Television Service (ITVS) funds and presents award-winning documentaries and dramas on public television, innovative new media projects on the Web, and the weekly series Independent Lens on Tuesday nights at 10 PM on PBS. ITVS is a triumph of public policy created by the vision of media activists, citizens and politicians seeking to foster plurality and diversity in public television. ITVS was established by a historic mandate of Congress to champion independently produced programs that take creative risks, spark public dialogue and serve underserved audiences. Since its inception in 1991, ITVS programs have revitalized the relationship between the public and public television, bringing TV audiences face-to-face with the lives and concerns of their fellow Americans. ITVS is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people. 

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Posted on January 15, 2003