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San Diego Philanthropist Conrad Prebys Shares Love for Masterpiece

Prebys Gives $500,000 to The MASTERPIECE Trust and KPBS

Contact: Nancy Worlie


San Diego developer and philanthropist Conrad Prebys has joined the KPBS and MASTERPIECE families with a gift of $500,000. Mr. Prebys’ gift to The MASTERPIECE Trust will benefit both MASTERPIECE and KPBS.

The Masterpiece Trust is a fundraising initiative and partnership between PBS stations that encourages individuals to contribute to the series’ future. Half of Prebys’ gift will support local arts programming on KPBS, San Diego. MASTERPIECE is the public television drama series that had millions of viewers glued to their seats watching Downton Abbey.

“After enjoying Public Broadcasting for many years, it is a special joy to become a member of the MASTERPIECE family,” said Conrad Prebys.


The Prebys gift is the second significant gift to The MASTERPIECE Trust in as many weeks, both of which are from San Diego donors. Longtime KPBS supporter Darlene Shiley recently made a $1 million gift to the MASTERPIECE TRUST. Prebys says he was inspired by Mrs. Shiley’s gift and wanted to showcase his love of MASTERPIECE.

“I was simply captivated by Downton Abbey, and so I thought it was time I showed by support for this great series and all the wonderful programming on KPBS,” said Prebys.

This is Mr. Prebys’ first gift to KPBS.

“I am thrilled that our generous San Diego philanthropists are stepping up in support of great arts and drama programming on KPBS,” said Tom Karlo, KPBS General Manager. “It’s a testament to this great collaboration between KPBS and MASTERPIECE. We are so appreciative of Mr. Prebys’ enthusiasm for Downton Abbey and all the great programming on public media.”

Launched in 2011 to honor MASTERPIECE’s 40th anniversary, the MASTERPIECE Trust has already raised more than $2.5 million. More than 17 million viewers tuned in to the MASTERPIECE broadcast of Downton Abbey season 2, making it the most-watched MASTERPIECE series on record. Upcoming programs include a second season of the hit series Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman (May 6-20).


About KPBS

KPBS is a public service of San Diego State University, serving the region with TV, Radio, and Internet content that educates, inspires, entertains, and advances civic involvement.

About Masterpiece

MASTERPIECE on PBS is presented by WGBH Boston. Rebecca Eaton is executive producer. Funding for MASTERPIECE is provided by Viking River Cruises, with additional support from public television viewers and contributors to The MASTERPIECE Trust, created to help ensure the series’ future. Visit for more information about the series.

Donors interested in contributing to The MASTERPIECE Trust should contact Stephanie Bergsma, KPBS Associate General Manager or at (619) 594-7822.

About WGBH

WGBH Boston is America’s preeminent public broadcaster and the largest producer of PBS content for TV and the Web, including Masterpiece, Antiques Roadshow, Frontline, Nova, American Experience, Arthur, Curious George, and more than a dozen other prime-time, lifestyle, and children’s series. WGBH also is a leader in educational multimedia, including PBS LearningMedia, and a pioneer in technologies and services that make media accessible to the 36 million Americans who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or visually impaired. WGBH has been recognized with hundreds of honors: Emmys, Peabodys, duPont-Columbia Awards…even two Oscars. Find more information at