MontanaPBS Producers Rewarded for C.M. Russell Program

March 20, 2018

The team that produced “C.M. Russell and the American West” accepts a storytelling award in Great Falls.MISSOULA – The MontanaPBS historical documentary “C.M. Russell and the American West” earned a prestigious award March 16 from the great American artist’s namesake museum in Great Falls.

The C.M. Russell Heritage Award for Storytelling was presented by the C.M. Russell Museum. Co-producers Gus Chambers and Paul Zalis, along with executive producers William Marcus and Aaron Pruitt, were on hand to accept the award.

“We are honored by this award because we know the standards under which it is granted, and the distinguished and accomplished company it places us in,” Marcus said. “We’re happy that MontanaPBS is able to tell the stories of Montana, and Charlie and Nancy Russell’s story is one of the biggest.”

We’re so thankful for all of the partners who came together to help us tell the story of the man who’s become the patron saint of Montana,” Chambers said. “We’re glad that so many people have enjoyed the program.”

The documentary examines Russell's arrival in Montana as a youth, his apprenticeship and work as a cowboy on the open range, and his self-taught, almost explosive growth into an iconic American artist who affected generations.

The three one-hour programs premiered on MontanaPBS in November to a large television audience. The producers are creating a one-hour version for PBS, which will encompass both national and international distribution.

MontanaPBS (KUFM-TV in Missoula, KUSM-TV in Bozeman, KUKL-TV in Kalispell, KBGS-TV in Billings, KUGF-TV in Great Falls and KUHM-TV in Helena) is a service of the University of Montana and Montana State University. For more information, visit


Contact: Gus Chambers, MontanaPBS producer, 406-243-4093,; William Marcus, executive producer,