Donna Sanford

2010 Inductee

Before there was Sesame Street on PBS, there was Donna Sanford. From 1969 onward, Donna has devoted her entire career to public television on both the local and national levels. As a college grad in Richmond, Virginia, she got her first job at WCVE, working in production, then in programming. She moved to Denver in 1989 and currently serves as Director of Programming and Production for Rocky Mountain PBS, a state-wide network. She has been instrumental in the transformation from the early days of educational television to today’s high-definition, digital, multi-channel broadcasts.

Donna understands the importance of networking, mentoring and leadership, and serves as a model for other women in Colorado broadcasting who manage positions of increased challenge and responsibility. She is a past-president of the Public Television Programmer’s Association and a recipient of their Programmer of the Year award and Golden Grid award. As a member of numerous PBS advisory councils and committees, Donna is a respected voice offering concise evaluation and recommendations that have led to stronger programming and streamlined procedures.

Colleagues around the country enjoy her wicked sense of humor, her wealth of experience, her willingness to try new things, and her selfless leadership; she avoids podiums and pedestals, but is quick to share her time and expertise for the good of the PBS system. She believes in the PBS mission, and is motivated by the strong PBS community.

Locally she is responsible for the programming choices on 5 stations around Colorado, for new productions, and she oversees the award-winning RMPBS production team. In her moments of spare time, Donna enjoys kicking up her heels with the Rocky Mountain Square Dancing Club, and volunteering with the Crochet Club for the Denver Health Baby Blanket Initiative.