Meet Our Team

Maria Hall-Brown

Executive Producer, Arts and Cultural Programming
Maria Hall-Brown joined PBS SoCal in July of 1997. She is the Executive Producer for Arts and Cultural Programming, and the producer/host of the weekly program LAaRT. In addition, she recently produced the first documentary film about cultural visionary/philanthropist, Henry T. Segerstrom: Imagining the Future. Other documentaries include: Be Brave: Samantha’s Story, Matters of Faith, Bulgarian Rhapsody, and Notes from Europe, as well as many holiday specials. For 16 years Maria worked as producer/reporter for the nightly news program Real Orange and the producer/host of author interview series Bookmark. She has garnered two Los Angeles Area Emmy Awards and six Golden Mike Awards by the Radio & Television News Association for her work.

Maura Daly Phinney

Vice President, Membership and On-Air Fundraising
Executive Producer, Fundraising Programs

With more than 25 years of experience in public television and radio, Phinney oversees all membership fundraising efforts – on-air, online and direct mail. She also oversees development of national and local fundraising programs produced for PBS SoCal. She has produced over 200 programs for public television including many music specials like, Tommy Emmanuel and Friends: Live from the Balboa and A Salute to Vienna. Phinney has won numerous awards including an Emmy and several Telly awards. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California at Berkeley. Before joining PBS SoCal, Phinney held a variety of fundraising and production positions at WETA in Washington D.C., KQED in San Francisco and KPBS in San Diego.

Michelle Merker

Program Development Manager Michelle Merker has spent 20-plus years working in the Los Angeles market in both television and radio as a news director, writer, producer and talent. She has also written and produced both network and syndicated programs, and has acted as freelance talent on TV, radio and corporate projects. Michelle has also helped advance the careers of many in the business, working in southern California as a TV, radio and film instructor. She has won numerous awards for her programs including 3 Emmy Awards, the Golden Mike Award, several Telly Awards and the CINE Golden Eagle Award.