ValleyPBS names new CEO — and it’s a familiar face for many television viewers

Jenny Toste is the new CEO for Valley PBS. Her first day in Dec. 3, 2018.
Jenny Toste is the new CEO for Valley PBS. Her first day in Dec. 3, 2018. ValleyPBS

Jenny Toste can come off like a cheerleader when she starts talking about Fresno.

Or ValleyPBS, where she will take over as CEO starting Dec. 3.

Toste replaces acting CEO Phyllis Brotherton, who stepped into the spot after Phil Meyer resigned last year.

“When I came to Fresno, I knew I was supposed to be here,” says Toste, who made a career out of that civic pride, first as a reporter for KSEE 24 then as a morning anchor on Channel 47, where she spent seven years before leaving television to take a job at Fresno State.

She also created and hosted the home renovation reality show “Realty Rescue.”

Toste admits the PBS job might seem like a bit of a leap for someone who had been working as a social media specialist (though she was coordinating more than 200 media accounts all across the campus). But as she learned about the job and the station, she realized she had a particular set of skills that lined up with what they board needed in its next leader.

“The board is confident that I am smart enough to learn the rest, just as any person has to do in a new job,” she says.

And in the end, Toste has that passion for telling important and inspiring stories.

“I loved the morning show because I was telling stories that affected people’s lives,” Toste says.

“With ValleyPBS, we have the same opportunity to tell those stories in a more meaningful way.”

Already, the station has a slate of locally produced programs, including “Valley’s Gold” and the travel adventure show “Outside with Greg Aiello,” which just got picked up nationally. The station also produced the documentary, “Silent Sacrifice: Stories of Japanese American Incarceration.”

Toste would like to see the station do more of that, plus move toward more solutions journalism.

“The possibilities are limitless,” she says.

Given the talented team of people who work at the station, she said she believes that ValleyPBS makes a difference in the community: “I’m excited to be part of something bigger than myself.”

Joshua Tehee: 559-441-6479, @joshuatehee