State Senator Connie Leyva will become KVCR’s next executive director when her legislative term ends Dec. 5, the San Bernardino Community College District announced Wednesday, Oct. 12.
The appointment comes two months after the Inland Empire’s only public television and radio station celebrated receiving $15 million in state funding to secure its future.
In a press release, Leyva called KVCR a “jewel of the Inland Empire”.
“My family grew up with public radio and television,” she added, “so it’s a great honor to lead the talented team at KVCR as they continue to deliver factual, informative and entertaining programming. to residents of the Inland Empire and beyond.”
As Managing Director, Leyva, who recently did not respond to his offer for a seat on the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, will oversee the implementation of KVCR’s long-term plan, which includes expanding student training opportunities for careers in media and journalism; broadcast PBS, NPR and FNX, or First Nations Experience; and growing content for audiences in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
In addition, she will focus on strengthening community partnerships and fundraising.
Based at San Bernardino Valley College, KVCR has served Southern California since the 1950s. Leyva is expected to succeed Alfredo Cruz, who stepped down as general manager in June 2021.
“Connie Leyva understands the potential of KVCR and its vital role in our civic fabric,” SBCCD Executive Vice Chancellor Jose F. Torres said in the statement. “His vision and experience working with people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives will help open doors to further KVCR’s mission.”
On Wednesday, district officials also announced the promotion of Tony Papa to KVCR’s director of operations.
“It is a privilege to be part of a dynamic leadership team at such an iconic public media institution during this transformative time for television and radio stations across the country,” said Papa, an award-winning veteran of the media industry, in the press release. “I am thrilled to channel my 20+ years of experience in technology and entertainment into this phase of the legacy of KVCR and FNX – and the communities we serve.”