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Former Iowa Public Television Head Honored With National Award

Paula Kerger, Dan Miller, and Molly Phillips at Miller's Des Moines home.

A national award for public television station leaders has been named in honor of the former executive director and general manager of Iowa Public Television. The inaugural Daniel K. Miller PBS Station Leadership Award was presented to Miller on Tuesday at his home in Des Moines.

"In discussing the attributes that this award should recognize, we quickly came to the conclusion that the qualities of selflessness, humility, vision, commitment and courage were all represented in Dan Miller," says PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger in a press release. "Dan is fully and passionately dedicated to the mission of public media and worked tirelessly to protect and promote editorial integrity. It is therefore all the more fitting that not only should Dan be the recipient of the first award, but the award should also be named in his honor." 

Current Iowa Public Television Executive Director and General Manager Molly Phillips says Miller, who worked for IPTV for 37 years, was the master of editorial integrity.

"(He needed) to know who had funded what shows, and was there even a sense or possible assumption or speculation that those funders would have something to do with the making of a show. And if that was the case, than those funders could not be part of underwriting," says Phillips. "And not only was that important for Iowa, but helped PBS then get their editorial integrity standards in line and up to date."

Phillips adds that Miller is one of the greatest mentors anyone could ever ask for, and that he pushed his staff to produce great work.

"The last that I think anybody that's ever worked for him ever, ever wanted to do was disappoint him." 

Future recipients of the annual Daniel K. Miller award will be chosen by the Station Services Committee of the PBS Board of Directors and PBS senior management. To receive the honor, one must be a current or former station manager "whose leadership, vision, courage and commitment to the mission and principles of public media have inspired station staff and system colleagues to expand the impact of public media to become change agents in the communities they serve."