Mid-Week Intermission Friend Edition: Luis Patiño of Austin PBS

Where do Austinites go when the curiosity bug bites? Well that’s easy… Austin’s PBS station! From gardening, local news, and all those loveable kids characters, to the longest-running music series in American television history and everything else under the Texas sun, KLRU pretty much has it all. So in today’s Mid-Week Intermission, we’d like to introduce to you Luis Patiño, the new President and CEO of Austin PBS, but no stranger to Austin. Check out what’s curious in the Austin PBS neighborhood and why you should tune in the next chance you get.

Luis Patino
Luis Patiño
I’m super excited to be back in Austin!

Having lived in Austin for 10 years prior to moving to Southern California, we established some deep roots in Texas and when the opportunity to return came about, we jumped on it.

Thrilled to be leading Austin’s PBS station, KLRU, and the family of brands that make up the media portfolio. Some of you readers might know me from having led Univision, the Spanish language media group in Texas, and others might remember me from my days serving on the Long Center Board of Trustees during the early years. I truly look forward to integrating back into the Austin community. My associations with iconic institutions like the Long Center will be a big part of this.

Having been back in Austin for six months, it didn’t take long for the community to embrace my family and I in my new role as President and CEO for Austin PBS. The Austin community has been, and continues to be, one of the most welcoming cities in America. Every day we see examples of that warm hospitality. It’s been amazing to pick up where we left off with old friends and exciting to be making new friends in this city that is filled with fascinating, civic-minded leaders. The mission for KLRU is simple: continue to evolve into a modern media organization that embraces new technologies while never losing sight of our mission and purpose. Austin PBS will continue to focus on enriching lives and transforming communities through the power of media. Our viewers will likely see more local programming and increased focus on the performing arts.

A skyward look at Austin PBS's new lobby
View of the Austin Media Center

Having been in the media business for over 25 years, one cannot help but remain curious. Curiosity allows for innovation to flourish. Without this, we become stagnant and even lose relevance in this fast-paced world. Not only must we maintain that deep sense of curiosity in the workplace, it applies to one’s personal development as well. I love to read and learn from history so as to better understand the present. Having context for when and how things came to be has always been important for me. 

Take Austin City Limits for example, many people in town don’t associate Austin PBS with ACL when in fact we have been producing this show for 48 seasons. The show was created to explore traditional Texas music, but throughout the years it has taken various paths, leading to music discovery for many. Now, it is a beautiful, eclectic mix of sounds and genres. Most of this happened by design as a way to modernize our own music tastes, but some happened organically as content curation is all about taking risks and being curious.

Luci Baines Johnson and Daniel Tiger

Public media, and especially PBS, is having a renaissance of sorts. We are bringing in new content and attracting new audiences. While broadcast television viewing has seen better times, we seem to be filling a need for the stimulating, uplifting and aspirational storytelling that people are craving. Our journalism constantly wins awards and accolades for its fact-based, trustworthy reporting. Combine our excellent storytelling, highly credible journalism, passion for the arts and sprinkle in some educational and engaging kids programming, and you have the perfect reason to lose yourself in PBS content exploration. Look for us on the PBS Passport streaming platform.

…we seem to be filling a need for the stimulating, uplifting and aspirational storytelling that people are craving.
The Patino family poses for a photo on the Long Center's H-E-B Terrace with the skyline and candy-cane columns in the background
The Patiño Family, December 2015

As a lover of the holidays, attending Ballet Austin’s rendition of the famed Nutcracker at the Long Center is a treasured memory and definitely a Patiño family tradition we are excited to pick up again.


At the Long Center, we’ve always got a new partnership or something cool we know you’ll want to check out! Find and follow us @longcenter on your social media platform of choice, and we’ll see you real soon.

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