Montana State University

Eric Hyyppa tapped as president of National Educational Telecommunications Association

August 22, 2017 -- MSU News Service

Eric Hyyppa will leave his post as director and general manager of MontanaPBS to begin duties as president of the National Educational Telecommunications Association. Hyyppa has been with MontanaPBS since 1995. MSU photo by Kelly Gorham.

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Tel: (406) 994-4571

Eric Hyyppa, director and general manager of MontanaPBS based at Montana State University, has been selected as the president of the National Educational Telecommunications Association, the NETA board announced today.

Hyyppa will succeed Skip Hinton, who has served as NETA’s president for 28 years. Hyyppa begins his duties on Nov. 1 at NETA headquarters in Columbia, South Carolina.

“Eric is extremely well-respected among PBS station leaders and the national leadership,” said Tom Rieland, chair of NETA’s board of directors and president/CEO of WOSU Public Media. “I’m confident his energy and focus on NETA’s strategic goals, which he helped frame, will greatly enhance the value of NETA to stations across the country.”

Hyyppa, who is a Montana native, said he is honored to be asked to work on a national public media platform.

"I'm honored, and I'm grateful to the board for the opportunity to lead this exceptional organization of dedicated and talented professionals," Hyyppa said. "NETA plays an essential role in public media, supporting stations and increasing their service to their communities. I am passionate about NETA’s role in supporting stations and committed to our education mission."

Hyyppa has a bachelor’s degree in computer science from MSU. He began his career as the station’s computer system administrator in 1995. In 2003, he was named the station’s information technology manager. He became director and general manager of KUSM/MontanaPBS in January 2008, following a transitional year as its interim general manager.

During Hyyppa’s tenure, MontanaPBS grew from a single station to a statewide network of six stations, more than 20 translators and a satellite delivery service that reaches the smallest communities in the state. Hyyppa expanded local production, including a number of nationally distributed programs, developed statewide support and has been a leader in the use of technology for highly efficient station operations. As general manager, Hyyppa has overseen the launch of a major and planned giving program, increased coverage of local news and public affairs and placed a stronger emphasis on education, specifically leveraging the PBS LearningMedia platform in Montana.

Hyyppa currently serves on the Public Broadcasting Service board of directors. He is past chair of the board of directors of America’s Public Television Stations, the public television Affinity Group Coalition, the Organization of State Broadcasting Executives and NETA’s board of directors. He also serves on the board of directors of the Montana Broadcasters Association and the board of directors of the Friends of MontanaPBS, and he is a member of the Montana Ambassadors, a volunteer organization of state leaders in business and education. He is a former member of the Society of Motion Picture Television Engineers and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.

Aaron Pruitt, associate general manager and director of content for MontanaPBS, has been named interim director and general manager. Pruitt, who oversees programming, operations and content production, has been with the organization for 23 years.

MontanaPBS is an educational outreach service of the Montana University System, a partnership of MSU and the University of Montana. The service provides educational, historical, arts and civic programming, as well as related educational outreach services to the state, serving more than 400 Montana communities and reaching nearly every Montana home.

Eric Hyyppa (406) 994-6252,