Editor’s Scratchpad

Monday, November 12, 2001

Bitterman’s star keeps rising

This week in San Francisco, Mary Bitterman resigned as president of the KQED-TV and KQED-FM public-broadcast operations to become head of the James Irvine Foundation. It is a leading cultural and grant-giving organization in California, with more than $1 billion in assets.

Bitterman took over KQED in 1993 when it was in the midst of self-inflicted death throes, and pulled it back from the brink. Today it's a thriving, award-winning and socially responsible organization.

Bitterman is remembered here as the former head of Hawaii Public Television, director of the Institute of Culture and Communications at the East-West Center and of the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Bitterman was also President Carter's director of Voice of America. She left each office in better shape than she found it.

Bitterman is an extraordinarily talented manager. Although she has spent the last decade in the Bay Area, in her heart she considers herself a resident of Hawaii. It's too bad executives of her calibre too often must leave the islands for greener pastures.

Burl Burlingame

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