Media Moves

KPBS general manager Karlo set to retire

October 7, 2020

Posted by Mariam Ahmed

Tom Karlo

SDSU president Adela de la Torre announced that KPBS general manager Tom Karlo will retire after a 47-year career.

The excerpt is as follows:

Karlo, who began working at KPBS in 1973 as a cameraman when he began as a student while attending SDSU, is slated to retire at the end of the calendar year.

Over the nearly five decades with KPBS, Karlo worked his way up through the organization, including work in television production, operations, program distribution and finance before being named general manager in 2009. With his appointment, Karlo became only the fifth general manager in KPBS’ 60-year history.

Over the span of his KPBS career, Karlo led the news agency into a new era of multiplatform content. Since 2009, KPBS added a weekday television newscast and digital news on The agency also added social media to an existing and well-established radio news team and, today, has content on more than 30 platforms.

KPBS also launched the Explore San Diego local content initiative that brought audience favorites like Ken Kramer’s About San Diego, A Growing Passion, Crossing South and Savor San Diego. In addition, community engagement events like the GI Film Festival, Community Conversations and the One Book One San Diego project continue to pave the way for thoughtful, engaging and civil conversations.

In Karlo’s nearly 12 years as general manager, KPBS has also grown to 180 full and part time staff; the news team started at 15 people and is now close to 50. The audience has grown to more than 1.3 million each week; and operating revenue has nearly doubled from when he took over as general manager.

In that time, Karlo is also credited with raising nearly $70 million for KPBS’ Building on Trust Capital Campaign in just three short years. The KPBS Producers Club has also grown from 600 families and $700 thousand a year to 1900 families and nearly $2.8 million annually in the nearly 12 years since Tom became General Manager.

In addition to his dedication to KPBS, Karlo has given back to the San Diego community through various organizations and nonprofits, including the SDSU Alumni Association Board of Directors and Sharp Grossmont Hospital Board of Directors.

Read more here.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry daily or weekly.

Subscribe to TBN

Receive updates about new stories in the industry.