Before an organization can decide what skills its leaders should possess, it must first determine what type of organization it wishes to become. - Ron Bornstein, The Public Television General Manager of the Future

I In 2003, NETA’s board of directors launched NETA Consulting as a service for all public broadcasting licensees and organizations. It was apparent even then that outsource professionals were becoming more important for many areas of our profession, so NETA’s board determined that there should be access, at reasonable costs, to professional consultants who have the skills and experience to    
support public broadcasting licensees. NETA Consulting’s partners, Ron Bornstein, Eric Smith, and Skip Hinton, are among the most trusted advisors in the profession. Their association with NETA, itself a pioneering organization in public television, will provide access to a broad range of industry information, as well as access to the organization’s staff. NETA Consulting’s services range from executive recruitment to strategic planning.
The partners and their associates, all recognized leaders within public media, bring expertise to senior management searches, organization audits, grant development, project management and support for state funding.

The Partners

Ronald C. Bornstein, Partner

Ronald C. Bornstein served in leadership positions in public broadcasting and higher education for over 40 years. He relocated his management consulting and executive recruitment practice to Tucson after retiring from the University of Wisconsin system where he worked for 27 years in various capacities as Director of the Telecommunications Division and General Manager of WHA Radio and Television, Vice President for University Relations, and as the University's Senior Vice President for Administration, Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer.

He was also a Professor of Communication Arts for the University of Wisconsin Madison, where his specialty was media policy and programming. On leaves of absence from the university, he twice served in Washington, D.C. as Vice President for Telecommunications for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and as Acting President of National Public Radio. He was a long-time member of the State of Wisconsin Educational Communications Board, chaired its Wisconsin Public Broadcasting Foundation, and served on the boards of PBS, NPR and the Association of Public Television Stations. He is a recipient of numerous awards, including a National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences "Emmy" Award and the Edward R. Murrow Award, and was inducted into the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame.

He currently serves as the part-time Executive Director of the Pacific Mountain Network, an educational foundation that provides support to its 31 member stations in the Rocky Mountain and Pacific States. He also is a member of the community advisory board for Arizona Public Media in Tucson.

  • Phone : (520) 825-8494

Eric Smith, Partner

Eric Smith has held production and leadership posts in public broadcasting for over 45 years; the last 25 as director of public broadcasting for the State of Florida under the auspices of the Florida Department of Education. His two main responsibilities were representing the interests of Florida’s public radio and television stations before the Florida Legislature and the US Congress, and to administering financial support for Florida’s public radio and television stations in the areas of station operations, broadcast equipment, and new and improved broadcast facilities.

He continues to provide governmental lobbying and consulting services to Florida public television and radio stations as the Director of Governmental and Community relations for the Florida Public Broadcasting Service Inc. He joined NETA Consulting in 2003 and served as its Managing Partner from 2005-2013.

Prior to his statewide responsibilities, he was General Manager of WSRE-TV and Chair of the academic Department of Broadcasting at Pensacola Junior College. He began his career in 1960 as a camera operator for the Alabama Public Television Network.

His national professional service includes election by his peers as co-chair of the Organization of State Broadcasting Executives (OSBE) and served two terms as a trustee of the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS). He has provided search and management consultation services for many public broadcasting licensees.

In 2003, he received a PBS Leadership Award recognizing his leadership for securing and allocating more than $370 million in state appropriations for Florida’s public radio and television stations.

Outside his work in public broadcasting, he is certified as a Master USA Track & Field Official specializing in Field Events and Cross Country. Annually, he is selected to officiate NCAA and USATF National Championship Meets.

  • Phone : (850) 402-1336

Skip Hinton, Managing Director

Skip Hinton has been the president of the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) and its predecessor the Southern Educational Communications Association (SECA), since 1989.

In addition to overseeing NETA's staff and activities, he is the staff support coordinator for public television's Affinity Group Coalition (AGC), a policy and planning coalition that represents public television licensees, and provides similar support for members of the Organization of State Broadcasting Executives (OSBE), an association of CEOs representing statewide public television networks.

In the 1980s, prior to coming to NETA, he was general manager of Alabama Public Television for six years. He has been a college instructor (University of Alabama, College of Communication), executive director of the University of Alabama's television services, and director of the Montgomery Public Television Center where he implemented APT's entry into news and public affairs production, including legislative coverage.

  • Phone : (803) 978-1581

  • Our situation and our search was unique. We needed a CEO that could manage two strong public broadcast entities 90 miles apart. The University of Illinois (WILL AM/FM/TV) and the Illinois Valley Public Telecommunications Corporation (WTVP) implemented an agreement to share management in 2013 and we knew hiring a permanent CEO in 2014 would be a challenge. We hit the jackpot with NETA Consulting who helped us conduct a very successful search. We couldn't have asked for better strategic partners.
    - Jan Slater, Dean, College of Media University of Illinois

  • NETA Consulting did a terrific job working with us to find a senior vice president of fundraising. They listened to our needs, worked within our budget, adapted their process to make it easy for us, and most of all, followed up in a timely and thoughtful way. I so enjoyed working with NETA Consulting. We’ll definitely call again for any of our recruiting needs.
    - Dolores Sukhdeo, President and Chief Executive Officer WPBT2 /Miami

  • The Public Television Major Market Group had a unique hiring challenge when we created a full-time executive director position. The NETA Consulting team worked closely with our board to identify what we were looking for in this new leadership role. They then did an outstanding job of describing the opportunity to prospective candidates, recruiting and vetting an excellent list of finalists, and leading us through a well-managed search – providing exceptional service every step of the way. We were very pleased with the process and the outcome!
    - Rick Schneider/WETA for the Public Television Major Market Group

  • NETA Consulting was very helpful in recruiting a strong pool of candidates for our director of development position. They did a great job of helping us get the word out in the right places and researching candidates that were suitable for our station.
    Finally, they customized their service and price to fit our needs.
    - Aaron Pruitt, Associate General Manager and Director of Content Montana PBS

  • A big “THANKS” to the NETA Consulting team. You never disappointed me. You were fully engaged from the moment OETA sought your help in developing a new plan—gathering community/stakeholder input through Community Listening Sessions, the Online Survey, conversations with legislators, and the delivery of the final draft of our strategic plan, mission, vision, values and presentation to our boards. OETA is on a better path to a secure future because of you, our NETA consultants. Thank you!
    - Dan Schiedel, Executive Director OETA, the Oklahoma Network

  • NETA Consulting did an outstanding job working closely with our team to analyze our operations and research system best practices in key areas, which informed a major reorganization. This helped WOSU become a merged radio, TV, and digital media operation, which has truly transformed our organization. NETA Consulting also conducted a nationwide search that resulted in the hiring of our COO. The NETA team’s services have been invaluable to us.
    - Tom Rieland, General Manager WOSU Public Media/Columbus

  • NETA Consulting has proved invaluable to the University of Utah in our recent hire of a new general manager for KUED/Salt Lake City. The breadth and depth of their experience, insight, and connections were exactly what we needed to conduct a thorough and successful search for this key position. I highly recommend them to others who may be searching for senior leadership at their stations.
    - Fred Esplin, Vice President for Institutional Advancement University of Utah/Salt Lake City

  • Eric Smith provided our search team with a multi-tiered process that took into account every aspect of finding the right candidate for the right job. The level of detail was unmatched. When our committee made its decision, we were very confident we had made the right one. It has been 9 months and the board of directors, the community and most importantly the staff of our station is very pleased with Greg Giczi as our president and general manager.
    - Ida Watson, Board Chair WNIT/South Bend

  • Ron Bornstein is the absolute best. Before he begins a search, Ron takes the time to thoroughly understand his client's needs and intentions by scheduling a series of meetings with principles as well as numerous staff members. Ron came away from these meetings with a clear understanding of our station’s mission; the philosophy behind our numerous programming decisions; a clear idea of the type of individual who would work well with existing staff and at the same time bring new and innovative approaches to our daily business.

    Through this tremendous amount of due diligence, Ron provides his clients with a highly customized search. This was clearly evident from the caliber of the individuals who made it to the final interview round. Ron presented us with a slate of highly competent candidates and we will remain grateful to Ron and his colleagues for their excellent level of service.
    - Sharon Rockefeller, President & CEO WETA/Arlington