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Public media leaders and celebrity Chef Lidia Bastianich to help commemorate WSRE’s first 50 years of broadcasting

Last Updated by Mary Riker on

WSRE Wine & Food Classic to celebrate milestone anniversary in October

PENSACOLA, Fla., July 12, 2017―A soirée to commemorate WSRE’s first 50 years of broadcasting is being planned for this fall in conjunction with the public television station’s annual Wine & Food Classic fundraiser. Among the distinguished guests expected to attend are Paula Kerger, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) president and CEO; Patricia Harrison, Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) president and CEO; and Chef Lidia Bastianich, the Emmy-award winning host of “Lidia’s Kitchen” airing on the Create channel and broadcast by PBS member stations nationwide.

Kerger leads the nation’s largest non-commercial media organization with nearly 350 member stations. Since her arrival at PBS in 2006, she has made particularly strong commitments to the arts, news and public affairs, high-quality educational content for children and the classroom, diversity, and the use of new digital platforms to bring public media into the lives of all Americans.

Kerger is also president of the PBS Foundation, an independent organization that raises private sector funding for PBS and has become a significant source of revenue for new projects at PBS. She is a director of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and chair of the board of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History.

Harrison heads the leading funder of American public television and public radio programming. She has strengthened public media through the strategic focus of CPB in digital innovation and technology; commitment to diversity of content, talent and service; and local community engagement, partnerships and service.

Under Harrison’s leadership in 2011, CPB launched American Graduate: Let's Make It Happen, a nationwide public media initiative to help communities across the country identify and implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis. For her work and commitment to helping young people stay on the path to a high school diploma through American Graduate, Harrison was honored in 2016 with a Promise of America Award from the America’s Promise Alliance.

She is chairman of the Leadership Council of Women and Girls Lead, a public media initiative designed to focus, educate and connect women, girls and their allies across the globe in addressing 21st century challenges; she sits on the boards of the National Italian American Foundation and the American University of Rome; and she is a member of the Board of Advisors at the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security.

Harrison has also authored two books: “A Seat at the Table: An Insider's Guide for America's New Women Leaders” and “America's New Women Entrepreneurs: Tips, Tactics, & Techniques of Women Achievers in Business.”

Bastianich, best known for her TV shows and appearances, is also a best-selling cookbook author, restaurateur and owner of a flourishing food and entertainment business.

She is the chef/owner of four acclaimed New York City restaurants—Felidia, Becco, Esca and Del Posto, as well as Lidia’s Pittsburgh and Lidia’s Kansas City along with her daughter.

Together with her son and other partners, Bastianich opened Eataly, an artisanal Italian food and wine marketplace, in the Flatiron District of New York City and at the World Trade Center. Eataly marketplaces are also open in Chicago, Boston and São Paulo, Brazil and scheduled to open in Los Angeles this year and Toronto in 2018.

She is the founder and president of Tavola Productions, a broadcast productions entertainment company, and also has a line of pastas and all natural sauces called LIDIA’S.

This year’s WSRE Wine & Food Classic events will include the “Tastes Through the Decades” walkabout tasting on Friday, Oct. 20 and the “Milestones & Memories” 50th anniversary black tie gala on Saturday, Oct. 21—both at the Hilton Pensacola Beach.

A Bodacious Family of Shops, the Wine & Food Classic presenting sponsor, will host a wine tasting and book signing at So Gourmet & Kitchenry on Sunday, Oct. 22, where guests will have the opportunity to meet Bastianich and sample wines from the Napa Valley vineyards of Silver Oak Winery. Bastianich will be signing copies of her new cookbook, “Celebrate Like an Italian.”

For sponsorship information, call (850) 484-1054. Ticket sales and information will be made available by Sept. 1 at

Media Relations Contact:
Mary Riker