LITTLE ROCK — Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday named film and television industry veteran Courtney Pledger as the next executive director of the Arkansas Educational Television Network.


Pledger will replace Allen Weatherly, who died in November. She will start March 20 at an annual salary of $114,315, the same as Weatherly’s.


Pledger has been executive director of the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival, executive producer for DreamWorks Animation, senior vice president of development and production at Radical Pictures, a producer and partner at Jigsaw Films and a producer on the film “A Killing in a Small Town.”


She has won the Women in Film’s Lillian Gish Producing Award and a Golden Globe and was nominated for a primetime Emmy Award.


Hutchinson said in a statement Tuesday, “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.”


The governor said Pledger’s experience and leadership skills make her the ideal person to head 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,” he said.


Pledger said in a statement, “I will take on this new role with a great deal of excitement about the future of Arkansas’ 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.”