For the first time in its history, a woman is leading Smoky Hills Public Television.
Dawn Gabel is the new Chief Executive Officer of the public broadcasting television station, which has been on the air since 1982 broadcasting from its studios in Bunker Hill in a historic limestone building. Along with Bunker Hill, the station also has towers in Lakin, Dodge City, and Colby.
Gabel comes back to central Kansas from the Kansas City metro area where she was the Chief Executive Officer of the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame. While with the NACHoF, Gabel lead the education center and historical museum to reopen after being closed in 2014.
Gabel started her career out of university at SHPTV as the membership coordinator. She then moved up to public information director, and eventually served as the development director. She served the station into the late 90s. Before joining NACHoF, Gabel held leadership positions at Hays Medical Center and American Red Cross Bio Services Central Plains Region.
Smoky Hills Public TV produces public affairs programming and holds the broadcast rights to several Kansas high school athletic championship events sanctioned by the Kansas State High School Activities Association. During a stop in Salina on Monday, Gabel told KSAL News that she has plans to possibly expand the local programming, but not before first reaching out to viewers to gather input.
Gabel also would like to see a facility upgrade, and possible relocation. The station has been in the same small building in Bunker Hill for over 30 years. Again, she is going to reach out to viewers to gather input, and ideas.
Gabel also has other plans and ideas, including an effort to make a wide variety of educational content available to teachers for free.
Smoky Hills Public TV can be seen in Salina on cable channel 2.
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