Telling Kentucky's Story

Bill Goodman Named Executive Director

KET's Renee Shaw sat down with Bill Goodman to discuss his time at KET and his new role as executive director of Kentucky Humanities. Watch the video here.

Kentucky Humanities names
Bill Goodman new Executive Director

LEXINGTON, Ky (November 1, 2016) – Kentucky Humanities has named Bill Goodman its new Executive Director.

A native of Glasgow, Ky., Goodman has served as host and managing editor of the Emmy Award-winning public affairs series Kentucky Tonight on KET (Kentucky Educational Television), since 1996. A long-time supporter of the humanities and arts in Kentucky, Bill Goodman will join the Kentucky Humanities Council on January 1st.

As its chief executive, Goodman will bring the same passion for developing an informed citizenry and educating the public at-large that he has performed at KET for the past 21 years. Goodman says, "I am confident that I can continue the advocacy on behalf of KH to support the history, heritage and cultural environment in the Commonwealth. I look forward to furthering the mission of the Council, Telling Kentucky’s Story.”

Kentucky Humanities’s services and programs, hosted by local organizations and schools, have reached more than 100,000 Kentuckians every year since 1972. The Council has invested more than $14 million in sharing Kentucky’s stories with the people of the Commonwealth.

Additionally, Goodman serves as host for Education Matters, KET’s election night coverage, and One to One with Bill Goodman, where he has conducted compelling conversations with guests including Pulitzer Prize winner George Will; Nikky Finney, poet, professor and recipient of the National Book Award for Poetry; actor Richard Dreyfuss; current and former Kentucky political leaders; and many others.

In April 2013, Bill was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.

Writer of the KET blog, "Bill’s Eye,” Bill also holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Spalding University. His collection of personal essays, titled Beans, Biscuits, Family and Friends: Life Stories, was published in the fall of 2015. He will be signing his book at the 2016 Kentucky Book Fair on November 5th at the Frankfort Convention Center.

"Bill Goodman is the perfect fit for Kentucky Humanities,” said board chairman Howard Roberts. "We look forward to a bright future with Bill as our new Executive Director.” Goodman replaces former Executive Director, Ben Chandler, who left his position on August 31st to be the leader of another non-profit organization, in Louisville.

Located in Lexington, Kentucky Humanities. is a non-profit Kentucky corporation affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is not a state agency. For information about the council’s programs and services, including the Kentucky Book Fair, Kentucky Chautauqua®, Chautauqua in the Schools, Prime Time Family Reading Time, Speakers Bureau, and Kentucky Humanities magazine, visit

Statement from Shae Hopkins, KET executive director and CEO, on Bill Goodman's new position at Kentucky Humanities:

We congratulate Bill on this exciting opportunity. While KET is losing an extraordinary journalist, the people of Kentucky are gaining a tireless advocate of our state’s proud history and heritage.

Importantly, Bill’s passion, dedication and hard work will continue to benefit the citizens of the Commonwealth, just as they have for more than 20 years while at KET. Everyone here wishes Bill well, and we look forward to working together in our organizations’ shared mission of preserving and telling Kentucky’s stories.

For more information about KET, please see