[December 5, 2019; Arlington, VA] – Sharon Percy Rockefeller, President and CEO of WETA, announced today that John F. Wilson has been named Senior Vice President and Chief National Content Officer at WETA, effective immediately. He will oversee the WETA National Productions portfolio and manage national content development across platforms, jointly reporting to Rockefeller and WETA Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President Jason R. Daisey. Wilson had been in charge of WETA National Productions on an interim basis since September.
“John is a proven leader, with an extensive background in public media,” said Rockefeller. “His experience in program strategy and his comprehensive management skills are a perfect fit for WETA as we grow our robust portfolio of public affairs, history, science and arts productions.”
“WETA has stellar production partners, and I am grateful for the opportunity to bring their projects to audiences across the country,” said Wilson. “Together, we will advance our public service mission to provide viewers with content of intellectual integrity and cultural merit.”
WETA, the flagship public media station in the nation’s capital, is a top producer of new content for public television in the United States, creating more than 350 hours of national programming annually. WETA productions, co-productions and presentations that Wilson will oversee 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 such as America’s Test Kitchen from Cook’s Illustrated and Samantha Brown’s Places to Love.
In addition to overseeing content development and working directly with producers, Wilson will be responsible for program packaging and distribution, station relations, and engagement and education.
Wilson joined WETA on March 25, 2019, to work with WETA production partners Ken Burns; Florentine Films; Henry Louis Gates, Jr.; Inkwell Films; and McGee Media and to create a pipeline of new projects. Prior to joining WETA, Wilson was Vice President and Director of AARP’s Life Reimagined Institute, and a consultant working with content creators to develop proposals and treatments for media distribution. Wilson spent 20 years at PBS working in program scheduling, planning, and editorial management, serving as Chief Program Executive and Senior Vice President from 2000 to 2014. During his tenure, PBS programs earned more Emmy, Peabody, duPont-Columbia, and Children’s Daytime Emmy awards than all other cable networks or broadcast networks combined. His television career began at Arizona PBS (KAET) in Phoenix, where he held a variety of positions in production and programming. Wilson is a graduate of Arizona State University and lives with his family in Alexandria, Virginia.
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WETA is the leading public media station in the nation’s capital, serving Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia with educational initiatives and with high-quality programming on WETA Television and Classical WETA 90.9 FM. For fiscal year 2019, the company had an annual operating budget of $95 million, more than 300 employees and nearly 125,000 contributing members. Classical WETA 90.9 FM brings classical music, concerts and specials to Greater Washington. As the largest PBS station serving Greater Washington, WETA Television broadcasts on four channels: WETA TV 26, WETA HD, WETA UK and WETA PBS Kids. WETA Television celebrates the people and history of the region through programs such as WETA Around Town, WETA Extras and WETA Arts. For national PBS audiences, WETA is a top producer of new content for public television in the United States, with news and public affairs programs that include PBS NewsHour and Washington Week; films by Ken Burns such as Country Music and The Roosevelts: An Intimate History; and performance specials from the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Library of Congress. WETA creates leading public-service websites such as ReadingRockets.org, LDOnline.org, StartWithABook.org, ColorinColorado.org, AdLit.org and BrainLine.org; and the station develops community-outreach programs to engage people of all ages in the joy of lifelong learning. The WETA studios and administrative offices are located in Arlington, Virginia. Sharon Percy Rockefeller is president and CEO. More information on WETA and its programs and services is available at weta.org. On social media, visit facebook.com/wetatvfm on Facebook and follow @WETAtvfm on Twitter.