WETA’s Percy Rockefeller Diagnosed With Cancer

WETA’s President and CEO Sharon Percy Rockefeller announced to her staff yesterday that she’s been diagnosed a treatable form of colorectal cancer.

“Over the next three months, I will be undergoing concurrent radiation and chemotherapy treatments. My doctors are confident that this therapy,
while leaving me sick and fatigued, is the best course of action. They also recommend that I focus my energies on my recovery. Thus, my daily schedule will be uncertain as I take this brief leave from my commitments,” she wrote.

The 60-year-old Percy Rockefeller, wife of West Virginia’s Democratic Senator Jay Rockefeller, has been the head of WETA, D.C.’s PBS station and the home of programs like the “Lehrer NewsHour” and “Washington Week in Review,” since 1989.

Joe Bruns, the channel’s #2, will stand in during her absence.

Full email after the jump.


TO: The WETA Staff and the Board of Trustees
FR: Sharon Percy Rockefeller
DT: July 25, 2005

I want to share some personal news with you concerning my health. After a thorough series of tests in Washington and at Johns Hopkins, I have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer which, fortunately, is a highly treatable form of cancer.

Over the next three months, I will be undergoing concurrent radiation and chemotherapy treatments. My doctors are confident that this therapy,
while leaving me sick and fatigued, is the best course of action. They also recommend that I focus my energies on my recovery. Thus, my daily schedule will be uncertain as I take this brief leave from my commitments.

The day-to-day operations at WETA will be under the direction of Joe Bruns, WETA’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Please know that I will stay engaged in WETA’s activities during my absence. I have every confidence in Joe’s ability to guide and oversee our operations. I know I can count on each of you to work closely with Joe as he takes on these added responsibilities. We can all rest assured that WETA will be in capable hands.

Mary Beth La Belle, my executive assistant, will go back and forth between WETA and my home to collect mail, paperwork and reading materials for distribution between both locations.

Please know that while I may be away physically from the office, emotionally my connection to WETA is, and will always be, foremost in my mind. I look forward to resuming my duties as soon as I am able to do so.

Sincerely,
Sharon