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PBS has hired Maribel Lopez, an executive producer and managing director at a PBS member station in Minnesota, to lead its digital studios, which produces original and short-form content on social platforms like YouTube.
Lopez begins on December 13 and replaces Brandon Arolfo, who exited PBS earlier this year to join Travel + Leisure as vp creative and content. Lopez will join PBS from Twin Cities PBS, where she is the executive producer of Sound Field, a music education series on YouTube that is produced for PBS Digital Studios, and the managing director of Racism Unveiled, a multimedia storytelling project that explores racism in Minnesota.
At PBS, Lopez will serve as the executive producer of PBS’ original digital programming and oversee the production of series with member stations for the digital studios. She will report to PBS Chief Programming Executive Sylvia Bugg.
“The work of PBS Digital Studios — in partnership with producers and local stations — is vital to the future of public media. To have played a small part in this from Twin Cities PBS has been one of the highlights of my career,” Lopez said in a statement. “I simply couldn’t be more excited to build upon this impressive body of work and lead such a dynamite team.”
PBS Digital Studios operates a network of channels and accounts on YouTube and Facebook and currently has more than 20 original series streaming online, including It’s Okay to Be Smart, which has more than 4 million subscribers on YouTube and won a Webby Award in 2017.
“It is PBS’s mission to offer engaging and thought-provoking content across all platforms — and PBS Digital Studios does just that. This digital-first programming has been extremely successful in attracting younger viewers, and I know it will continue to thrive under Maribel’s leadership,” Bugg said in a statement. “Maribel understands the driving mission of Digital Studios, and we are thrilled to welcome her to the PBS team.”
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