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KPBS Midday Edition

Tom Karlo Looks Ahead To Future of KPBS, Other Local Media

KPBS general manager Tom Karlo in this undated photo.
KPBS general manager Tom Karlo in this undated photo.
Even before the pandemic, the traditional media universe was undergoing major upheaval caused mainly by the arrival of a raft of upstart diverse digital platforms. Retiring KPBS General Manager Tom Karlo surveys this scene and offers some predictions.

In his 47 years at KPBS — the last 11 as its general manager — Tom Karlo has seen his share of ups and downs.

The highs include a growing audience, a revitalized and still-growing news department and a robust presence on many digital platforms.

For him, the lows are certainly the effects on the KPBS staff and budget of economic downturns like the Great Recession which began in 2007.


In a reminiscent mood during his last days at KPBS, Tom Karlo spoke with KPBS Midday Edition this week about the future of KPBS and also other local media. Karlo sees KPBS as well-positioned for the future, primarily because a viewer or listener can access the news reports and feature stories produced by the news and programming departments from among multiple platforms.

He is not so sanguine about the road ahead for local commercial broadcasting. There is a possibility, he believes, that local network affiliates may someday have to do without those networks, who can reach viewers in multiple ways.