Deanna Mackey Returns To KPBS As General Manager

89.5 KPBS San DiegoKPBS has announced the appointment of Deanna Mackey as its new General Manager.

Mackey returns to the company after serving in multiple roles between 1990 and 2005 including Managing Editor, Director of Public Information, Associate General Manager, and Station Manager/COO. Since exiting she has served as President/Executive Director or Public Television Major Market Group and Founder of Public Media Women in Leadership.

Mackey will oversee KPBS-TV and Public News/Talk 89.5 KPBS-FM San Diego/97.7 KQVO Calexico.

Deanna Mackey, an executive leader and journalist with more than 30 years of experience, has been appointed to serve as general manager for KPBS.

Overseeing a unit of about 180 staff, Mackey will hold leadership responsibility for operating and capital budgets of more than $37 million. In addition to the core responsibility of providing strategic and operational direction for KPBS and its news and public engagement missions, other primary areas of responsibility include membership support, major and planned giving, grants and corporate sponsorships.

“KPBS demands collaborative, future-driven and thoughtful leadership, especially given the increasing polarization in journalism,” said SDSU President Adela de la Torre, who announced Mackey’s appointment. “We found all of those skills in Deanna Mackey, and more.”

As general manager, and the first Latina to serve in the role, Mackey will oversee KPBS, which includes KPBS TV (four channels), Radio 89.5 and 97.7 and the organization’s digital platforms. Mackey will lead KPBS in efforts that continue to expand its visibility, growth and the many meaningful contributions the organization provides to our community and to our collective knowledge.

Mackey will also maintain oversight of stewarding relationships with local and national government officials and for building partnerships between KPBS and content partners across the region, within the university and beyond. She will also engage with the KPBS Advisory Council, and lead in assessing KPBS diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.

“Mackey’s reputation as an executive strategist is well respected, and she is known for her ability to transform organizations to fulfill the needs of both their teams and the public,” de la Torre said. “She is best positioned to continue advancing KPBS as a pillar of civic engagement and as a community connector.”

Mackey first began working at KPBS in 1985 as an editorial assistant while attending SDSU. She left in 1987 to serve as editor of The Daily Aztec, the university’s student-run newspaper.

Following a career in radio news and magazine publishing, Mackey returned to KPBS in 1990 and remained with the organization until 2015, serving in several roles. As station manager/COO, Mackey oversaw content on television, radio and digital, and also managed all support departments, to include those responsible for membership and corporate support, outreach and communications. Prior to her role as station manager, she served as media relations coordinator, director of public information, associate general manager for marketing, education and new media, and editor of KPBS’ On Air magazine. She also developed the organization’s first strategic plan, which then served as the blueprint for strategic growth.

“KPBS, through the continuing and evolving efforts of the full team, has an unprecedented opportunity to continue providing meaningful local news and contributing to the civic engagement of San Diego and Imperial counties,” said Mackey, who will report to the president. Mackey will also work directly with Agnes Wong Nickerson, SDSU’s Vice President for Business and Financial Affairs and Chief Financial Officer.

“I am so proud of what the team at KPBS has already accomplished in our region, and am excited and honored to continue to be part of the important mission and service we provide,” Mackey said.

De la Torre also extended appreciation for the service and leadership of Associate General Manager Nancy Worlie, who has served as general manager on an interim basis. Worlie will continue as interim until Mackey assumes the role on June 30.

An established journalist, Mackey served as a writer and editor for a number of San Diego-based publications and was also a radio news writer prior to KPBS. Mackey also founded Public Media Women in Leadership, which provides programming and support to better prepare women with potential to become future senior leaders in the public media industry.

Committed to public service, Mackey also serves as a member of the Parks California board, is a governance and nominating committee member for inewsource, is a mentor through SDSU’s Aztec Mentor Program and is also a Girl Scout Troop leader.

Mackey earned her bachelor of arts from SDSU in 1988, majoring in both journalism and political science.

This story first appeared on