Advocating for Arkansans

By Katie Clement |

Many love PBS for its educational and family-friendly programming.

Annette Cone Herrington (’75) has served on the Arkansas PBS Commission for 10 years, appointed in 2012 by former Gov. Mike Beebe and recently reappointed by Gov. Asa Hutchinson to a second term running through March 2028. 

“My husband and I are viewers,” Herrington said. “We watched the children’s programs when our kids were little, and now we really enjoy all the programming that public television provides. A supporter of PBS said, ‘Everything you watch on PBS makes you a better person.’ I think that is so true, and that’s the reason a lot of us volunteer our time.”

Arkansas PBS serves Arkansans with content and services that educate, inform and inspire. It delivers local award-winning productions and classic, trusted programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers through multiple digital platforms. 

In the last 10 years Herrington has served in multiple roles on the commission including chairman, vice chairman and treasurer and is currently serving as the liaison to the Arkansas PBS Foundation. She also has represented Arkansas PBS at the public media summit, held annually in Washington, D.C.

In addition to her work with Arkansas PBS, Herrington was recently elected to serve as a trustee for America’s Public Television Stations. APTS is a nonprofit membership organization ensuring a strong and financially sound public television system and helping member stations provide essential public services in education, public safety and civic leadership to the American people. 

As a trustee for APTS, Herrington serves on the finance committee and advocates for public television with the surrounding community as well as legislators and the congressional delegation, when needed. 

Herrington could not stress enough the importance of the work of public television and her interest in serving the state of Arkansas in this way. 

“Nearly half of children get all their pre-K education through public television,” Herrington said. “That and the fact that it is free to everyone means a lot to me. I am lucky that I am blessed by a foundation of faith and serving others. My father was on the Harding board for 30 years, and my brother is on it now. And this is the way I have chosen to serve because I think we reach a lot of people, and I believe service is what we are supposed to be all about.” 

Herrington says many don’t know that in addition to the children’s educational programs, Arkansas PBS offers a selection of adult educational programs as well. They also produce free professional development information to 78,000 teachers each year through ArkansasIDEAS. 

“I started watching PBS with my sister,” Herrington said. “I was 13 when she was born,
and I started watching Mr. Rogers with her when it first came on. I remember from the beginning how much I loved it, and I was maybe 15 by that time. But then my children watched and yes, those shows have evolved into being more relevant to today, but they still have such great values that they present.”

Categories: Alumni Profiles.

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