Getting to Know... Jose Fernandez

1. What do you do at PBS Interactive?
As Product Deployment Manager, I focus on developing ways to smooth the onboarding and learning process for stations that are interested or already using our products (primarily Bento). This includes improving the ticketing system so that we can address bugs more efficiently and refining the virtual training modules. I will also focus my efforts on developing dashboards so that we can clearly see the landscape of stations and our products.

2. How did you get involved with Public Media?
I got hired at PBS. But really; I’ve been a fan of both PBS and NPR FOREVER!!!! I’ve always wondered what it’d be like to work at either institution. Now, I’m here.

3. How will the interactive landscape change over the next few years?
I think that the direction of the digital landscape is beholden to the viewer’s desire to have their media when they want it, and however they choose to consume it. For example, I don’t subscribe to cable. Maybe that’s an odd thing to say, considering that I work for a broadcast organization. However, I opted for an inexpensive HD Antenna instead. I now get channels that I didn’t know existed when I had cable! I had too many options before. I get what I want and need. One might ask, “What about DVR-ing your shows for later view?” I don’t need to. I can log onto my laptop or turn on my phone, anything that I missed is there when I want it. In fact, I don’t have to be chained to my couch and a specific schedule in order to watch “TV”. Viewers can control their entertainment options like never before. I think that if viewers continue to ‘cut the cord’, the market will respond in amazing ways. OTT providers and internet enabled TV manufactures will invent innovative products in order to capture market share. Cable providers may respond with exclusive packages. App developers will continue to reinvent. Providers like Aero will help drive costs down for consumers. Finally, broadcasters will respond in innovative ways in order to capture audiences.

4. If the Internet didn't exist, what job would you have?
In a previous life, I was a fitness and martial arts instructor. I taught both kids and adults and enjoyed it very much.

5. What is your favorite gadget and why?

My iPhone. Or rather, any smartphone. It is my access to the world. I can get directions to Mt. Rushmore, find out when I can start feeding my son solid foods, watch TV, listen to the news, track my workout, use it as a TV remote (if I had cable), and…I can call people.

6. If you could have dinner with any three people from history, who would they be and why?
Steve Jobs: One of the greatest minds in technology. I’d want hear first-hand his creative process, from idea to execution.
Bruce Lee: What martial arts enthusiast wouldn’t want to have a sit down with Bruce Lee, love him or hate him. I wonder if we can train first, then have dinner later ;)
My grandfather on my father’s side: He passed before I was born. He is survived by my grandmother. I’ve only seen two pictures of him, one with my grandmother, and one with all of my aunts and uncles (12 total). I think my father was 17 years old in that picture. Both pictures are in front of their stick house in the Dominican Republic.