Longtime KET journalist Bill Goodman has been named the new executive director of the Kentucky Humanities Council. The host of multiple programs — including the Emmy Award-winning public affairs series Kentucky Tonight — will remain at KET through the end of the year.
After working at television stations in Nashville and Houston, Bill began his tenure at KET serving as host and managing editor of Kentucky Tonight. Since 1996, he has been at the center of thoughtful, in-depth discussions on issues of concern to the people of Kentucky.
“For more than 20 years, KET has given me the opportunity to communicate with the wonderful people who call Kentucky home,” said Bill. “I have been blessed with the good fortune to represent KET on the air and in many communities around the state. I am grateful to our founder, O. Leonard Press, our executive director and CEO, Shae Hopkins, and many colleagues who have assisted me along the way.”
In 1999, KET launched the series bookclub@ket with Bill leading the monthly discussions on books by Kentucky authors. Then, in 2006, KET began One to One with Bill Goodman, which allowed Bill to expand his talents as an interviewer through individual discussions on a wide range of topics. His guests have included Pulitzer Prize winner George Will; National Book Award for Poetry winner Nikky Finney; current and former Kentucky and national political leaders; and many others. Bill also serves as host of Education Matters and co-anchors KET’s live election coverage with Renee Shaw.
In April 2013, Bill was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.
Craig Cornwell, KET Senior Director of Programming, first recognized Bill’s talents when he interviewed him for the job of hosting Kentucky Tonight. “Since he has been with KET, Bill has greatly enhanced our local programming with his insight, his journalistic integrity, and his ability to bring a sense of warmth and purpose to the issues we cover.”
Never one to stop exploring new endeavors, Bill followed his passion for writing in recent years, first earning an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Spalding University and then publishing a collection of personal essays, “Beans, Biscuits, Family and Friends: Life Stories” last year.
“We congratulate Bill on this exciting opportunity,” said Shae Hopkins, KET executive director and CEO. “While KET is losing an extraordinary journalist, the people of Kentucky are gaining a tireless advocate for our state’s proud history and heritage. Everyone here wishes Bill well, and we look forward to working together in our organizations’ shared mission of preserving and telling Kentucky’s stories.”
“Every day, I am reminded of the treasure KET is to our state — to educate, inform, and enlighten Kentucky citizens,” said Bill. “I will be forever thankful for the unique chance that helped me be a small part of this gift to Kentucky. “