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Sanders Names Gary Newton to Arkansas PBS Commission

2 min read

The Arkansas PBS Commission has a new board member: Gary Newton of Little Rock, president and CEO of Arkansas Learns, which describes itself as “the voice of business for excellent education options.”

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced Newton’s appointment to the board, which oversees Arkansas educational network on television and online, in a news release from Conway-based Arkansas PBS on Tuesday.

Newton fills a vacant position on the commission; his six year term will expire on March 30, 2030. In a statement, Newton called Sanders “our education governor” and said he was honored to be selected and looked forward “to serving my fellow Arkansans as our Legislature intended.”

Before entering education advocacy, Newton was executive vice president of the Little Rock Regional Chamber in two stints, from 1983 to 1988 and from 2005 to 2012.

He helped create Leadership Greater Little Rock and promote its first three classes. Newton also served as Little Rock Film Commissioner, working with Arkansas Film Commissioner Christopher Crane on TV and film production incentives for economic development in Arkansas.

Newton graduated from the University of Arkansas and the American Musical & Dramatic Academy in New York.

“He is a Certified Chamber Executive and a graduate of the Institute for Organization Management and University of Oklahoma Economic Development Institute,” the release said.

Newton produced and wrote an award-winning documentary, “Jo’s Town, and produced an ensemble comedy feature, “Antiquities.” He can be seen as an actor in an upcoming feature film, “I’ll Be There.”

The Arkansas PBS Commission comprises eight members: one from each of the state’s four congressional districts, one involved in Arkansas public schools, another from the state’s higher education system. Newton fills an at-large seat last occupied by G.R. “Skip” Holland. 

The other members of the commission at present are West Doss of Fayetteville, chair; Woody Freeman of Jonesboro, vice chair; Anne Cowie of Subiaco, secretary/treasurer; Cynthia Nance of Fayetteville; Annette Herrington of Little Rock; John Brown of Siloam Springs; and Ann Clemmer of Benton.


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