By Monica Medina.
Tom Karlo admits to being old school, and frankly, he couldn’t be more proud. Having worked at the same organization for the last 44 years – in an industry that’s anything but – old school suits him.
While at KPBS, Karlo has seen many technological advances in media – from film to digital, the phasing out of analog transmissions and the social media explosion. Through it all, he has learned that the secret to success is to stay ahead of the curve. It is no wonder he was recently honored with the C. Scott Elliott Development Professional of the Year Award, representing the “highest levels of professional achievement in the public broadcasting development community,” according to Paula Kerger, PBS President and CEO.
Through the many positions he has held, Karlo knows the meaning of an honest day’s – and night’s – work. Nearly every evening he is at events with San Diego community and civic leaders, corporate partners and especially, KPBS donors. Karlo is always ready to represent the station, from leading tours to personally welcoming new members, and answering audience letters he receives. He is often accompanied by his charming wife, Julie, whom he has lovingly dubbed “the First Lady of KPBS.”
Karlo joined KPBS in 1973 as a San Diego State University student. His original plan was to become a film documentarian, but he credits broadcast pioneer Gloria Penner for steering him toward management. Despite all the accomplishments over the years, he never gave up on his first passion. During football season, Karlo can be found on the sidelines of the football fields, shooting for NFL Films. Having filmed games for 36 years, including 14 Super Bowls, Karlo has been honored with a National Emmy for Sports Cinematography for HBO’s “Inside the NFL”.
Karlo may be old school, but he is always one step ahead, with his viewfinder trained on the future ensuring continued triumphs for KPBS.