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KPBS Announces Hall of Fame Honoree for 2022

Following a 47-year-long career that began in 1973, former KPBS General Manager Tom Karlo is named as this year’s sole Hall of Fame honoree. Tom will receive the 2022 Lifetime Achievement award and will be formally recognized at the station’s annual Hall of Fame Celebration on October 15, 2022 with featured guest NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans. Established in 2010, the KPBS Hall of Fame honors individuals and families who have made KPBS one of the leading public media organizations in the country.

Tom Karlo, KPBS General Manager Emeritus
Janet Bark Photography
Tom Karlo, KPBS General Manager Emeritus is the 2022 Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Awardee

“This year we are very proud to recognize Tom Karlo, following a distinguished career that began in the early days of KPBS as a student assistant,” says KPBS General Manager Deanna Mackey. “He is a legend in the public media industry, for what he did as a general manager and for getting the community to rally behind his vision for KPBS.”

Karlo’s first job at KPBS was as a cameraman. He worked part time while also attending SDSU as an undergraduate in film and TV production. He held many roles during his time at KPBS including as director, producer, scheduler, finance manager and finally KPBS’ 5th general manager. Karlo retired as general manager in December of 2020.


“When I came to work everyday, I was committed to make KPBS better, and to make it more valued to the community,” reflects Karlo. “I believe all the things I have been doing have really positioned KPBS to be the best.”

During his nearly 12 years as general manager, philanthropy grew to new heights, the news and production teams converged and KPBS became among the highest-rated public television and radio stations within public media. As general manager emeritus, his contributions continue to shape KPBS content, culture and visibility of the station.

Since its inception, a total of 37 individuals and families have been inducted into the KPBS Hall of Fame. Inductees are celebrated in one of two categories: Lifetime Achievement or Visionary. Lifetime Achievement honorees are former staff whose work set new standards for public media. Visionaries are generous supporters and leaders whose commitment helps KPBS advance its mission and service to the community.

Past Visionaries include Dan and Phyllis Epstein, Steve and Sue Hart, Carol Vassiliadis and the Beyster Family. Past Lifetime Achievement honorees include journalist Gloria Penner, founder Ken Jones, and “About San Diego” host Ken Kramer.

In 2020 and 2021, KPBS virtually recognized Steve and Sue Hart; Dan and Phyllis Epstein; Pat Finn; Dr. Arthur Getis; and Don and Anne Wemple as Hall of Fame honorees. After two years, the annual Hall of Fame celebration returns to an in-person experience.


This year’s event will take place on Saturday, October 15 at 6 p.m. at the US Grant Hotel. Featuring NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans, the special night includes a champagne reception, seated dinner and program. Darlene Marcos Shiley is the host chair. Event sponsors include the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, Clark Construction and Safdie Rabines Architects. Tickets are on sale at $300 each. More information is available at

For more information:
Claudine Casillas
Special Events & Communications Manager