John Wilson is Senior Vice President and Chief National Content Officer, WETA National Productions. He oversees the WETA National Productions portfolio and manages national content development across platforms. WETA productions, co-productions and presentations that Wilson oversees include Washington Week with Robert Costa; documentary films from Ken Burns and Florentine Films; history and genealogy series with scholar Henry Louis Gates, Jr.; performance and arts specials from the nation’s leading cultural venues; and lifestyle series.
Previously, Wilson served as Vice President of Project Management, WETA National Productions. Before joining WETA, Wilson consulted with content creators to develop proposals and treatments for media distribution.
Until December 2016, Wilson was Vice President and Director of AARP’s Life Reimagined Institute. He worked with the world’s leading experts and thought leaders who were focused on transformational processes, methodologies and insights. These experts helped create Life Reimagined’s unique, groundbreaking programs, digital services, content and tools.
Prior to his work at AARP/Life Reimagined, Wilson served as PBS’s Chief Television Executive and Senior Vice President from 2000 to 2014. In that role, he was responsible for all PBS Programming services, including primetime, children’s, fundraising and syndicated programming, as well as program scheduling. During his tenure, PBS programs earned more Emmy, Peabody, duPont-Columbia, and Children’s Daytime Emmy awards than all other cable or broadcast networks combined.
Wilson joined PBS in 1994 as Director of Program Scheduling and Planning and was promoted to Vice President, Program Scheduling and Editorial Management in 1997. His television career began at PBS member station Arizona PBS (KAET) in Phoenix, where he held a variety of positions in production and programming, including Program Director, from 1982 to 1994.
Wilson is a graduate of Arizona State University and lives with his family in Alexandria, Virginia. He grew up in Marengo, Illinois, which at one time boasted having the world’s largest mousetrap factory and, presumably, very few mice.