This week CABL recognized the achievements of Louisiana Public Broadcasting President & CEO Beth Courtney by presenting her with its fifth annual Robert B. Hamm Award for Distinguished Public Service. The presentation was made virtually at CABL’s 58th Annual Meeting and Conference.
The award was inaugurated five years ago in honor of the late CABL board Chairman Bob Hamm, a dedicated civic leader at the state level and in his home community of Shreveport. It recognizes individuals from across the state who have been associated with CABL or its Leadership Louisiana program and have demonstrated a strong commitment and significant contribution to their community or the state.
“I can think of no one more deserving of this award than Beth Courtney who has not only been a pioneering and visionary leader of LPB, but also a great partner with CABL in advancing education and civic engagement in our state,” said CABL Chairman Tyron Picard.
Beth took the helm of LPB in 1985, becoming one of the first women in the country to assume a prominent leadership role in the broadcast industry. Under her leadership, LPB has won numerous state, regional, and national awards, many of them focusing on Louisiana’s unique culture, its colorful history, its threatened coast, and its unusual brand of politics.
LPB has also been leader in producing quality educational programming, engaging school curricula, the innovative use of digital technology, and the promotion of civil discourse.
In 1995, CABL and LPB began a 25-year-partnership co-sponsoring statewide televised debates in governor’s races and major U.S. Senate campaigns. Over the years that association grew to include participation in forums on major public issues, inaugurations, legislative coverage, and various platforms for civic engagement.
Under Beth’s leadership LPB has grown to become one of the most significant public institutions in our state. Its work in documenting Louisiana’s culture, preserving our history, educating our children, and promoting civic engagement and discourse has enriched us all.