Press Release

Asa Arkansas's Governor


Governor Hutchinson Announces Pledger as New Executive Director of AETN

LITTLE ROCK – Governor Asa Hutchinson today announced the selection of Courtney Pledger to serve as the Executive Director of the Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN). Pledger will replace former Director Allen Weatherly, who passed away in November of last year. Her start date will be March 20, 2017.

Governor Hutchinson released the following statement:

“First of all, I want to remember former Executive Director Allen Weatherly, who passed away late last year. He served our state with passion for more than 20 years. I also want to thank Tony Brooks for his work as interim director since November and his continued commitment to AETN over the past 16 years.

“Today, I am delighted to announce Courtney Pledger as the next Executive Director of the Arkansas Educational Television Network. Courtney’s extensive experience in television and her executive leadership skills make her the ideal candidate for AETN. Her work to establish the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival as an Oscar-qualifying event demonstrates her outstanding leadership skills. Courtney’s passion for this industry is second to none and I am excited about her vision for this agency.”

Courtney Pledger released the following statement:

“I want to thank Governor Hutchinson for his support of AETN and public television in Arkansas. I am extremely grateful to the AETN Board of Commissioners for the opportunity to lead Arkansas Educational Television Network, here in my home state of Arkansas.

“I will take on this new role with a great deal of excitement about the future of Arkansas’s only statewide public media outlet, as we work to make programs in Arkansas, about Arkansas. As Executive Director, I will work to ensure that AETN continues to serve every inch of our state, rural and metropolitan, our students and educators, and with the help of a growing number of digital platforms, to provide education for all.”

Courtney Pledger has served in numerous roles in the television industry, including as Executive Director of the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, Executive Producer for DreamWorks Animation and Senior Vice President of Development and Production at Radical Pictures. Pledger worked as a producer and partner at Jigsaw Films, which focused on acquiring and adapting British children’s books to film. She also was a producer on the Golden Globe winning film, A Killing in a Small Town. 

The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival is the oldest all-documentary film festival in North America. During her time as Executive Director of the film festival, Pledger was responsible for the re-emergence of the festival on the national scene. Pledger is a recipient of several prestigious honors and awards, including the Women in Film’s Lillian Gish Producing Award, a Golden Globe and a nomination for a primetime Emmy Award. 

Courtney Pledger's headshot can be found HERE.

To view the photo album of today's press conference, go HERE. To view video of the press conference, go HERE.  

Media outlets are welcome to use photos and video. Please attribute credit to the Governor's Office.

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