WASHINGTON (June 14, 2004) -- Harry Forbes, a New York drama critic and former PBS national press relations executive, has been named director of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Office for Film and Broadcasting, effective June 14.
He succeeds Gerri Paré, who opted for early retirement after 14 years with the office, which is part of the U.S. bishops' Department of Communications.
Forbes currently writes theater reviews for Back Stage. For several years, he was the principal drama critic for The Manhattan (now West Side) Spirit, one of New York's largest community newspapers. He also wrote for Time Out New York.
Forbes comes to the office with a distinguished background in TV publicity and communications and with nearly 20 years experience at PBS, as well as positions at NBC's and CBS's flagship stations in New York.
Msgr. Francis J. Maniscalco, director of the U.S. Bishops' Department of Communications, said "Harry Forbes brings an extensive background in TV, dramatic arts, and management to this vital position at the USCCB.
"His knowledge of the world of film and entertainment will be a great asset to the Office for Film and Broadcasting which helps make the Church present to this important and influential industry. The Office directly assists America's 65 million Catholics with its reviews and ratings
of films by bringing the Church's moral perspective to bear in this arena. Harry Forbes's experience in quality television and drama is an excellent background in enabling the Office to achieve its goal," Msgr. Maniscalco said.
At PBS Forbes handled the launch of many of the network's most prestigious series and specials, including Ken Burns' American Stories, American Family, Now With Bill Moyers and other priority series. He also planned and produced the PR initiatives for many of PBS's acclaimed children's series.
Forbes is a member of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the New York chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) and the Drama Desk.
He is a native New Yorker, attended Fordham University and graduated summa cum laude from Hunter College.
The USCCB Office For Film and Broadcasting reviews all mainstream movies for moral content as well as technical and artistic considerations and assigns a moral classification to each. Reviews are published weekly through Catholic News Service in Catholic publications, on the Web at www.usccb.org, and can be accessed through a toll-free movie review line, 1-800-311-4CCC.
The movie review service is funded through the Catholic Communication Campaign, which is supported by an annual collection in Catholic parishes nationwide.
The office also reviews broadcast and cable TV programs and advises the U.S. bishops on media issues related to movies, video and TV programming. In addition, the office has held three Faith on Film Festivals and contributes a segment each week on contemporary media to the award-winning, nationally aired Catholic Radio Weekly.