Fred Rogers Company Topper Bill Isler to Retire, Paul Siefken to Take Over

Paul Siefken- Fred Rogers Company-Publicity-H 2016
Courtesy of Fred Rogers Company

Siefken is promoted to president and CEO, charged with carrying on Fred Rogers' legacy.

The Fred Rogers Company's longtime president and CEO Bill Isler will retire at the end of the year after nearly three decades in the post.

The announcement came Tuesday, along with word that Paul Siefken, currently vp, broadcast and digital media, will replace Isler on Jan. 1, 2017. Isler, who worked with founder and kids TV icon Fred Rogers and has been CEO since 1987, is retiring from the company.??

“Paul is the perfect leader to take The Fred Rogers Company to the next important phase in its exciting evolution,” Isler said in a statement. Siefken will continue to grow the Pittsburgh-based company from a one-show wonder with the long-running Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood series on PBS to a slate that includes Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Peg + Cat and Odd Squad.

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood wrapped production in 2000, and Rogers, the show's host and star, died in 2003 at age 74. Siefken, a former director of children's programming at PBS, joined The Fred Rogers Company in 2013, and has overseen production and the digital production pipelines for its three main series.

"We have an amazing team in place, and I’m excited to work with them to uphold the legacy of innovation, creativity, and trust that The Fred Rogers Company represents for the next generation of children and parents," Siefken said in his own statement.

While at PBS, Siefken had TV credits like The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, Sid the Science Kid, WordGirl, Wild Kratts, Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, which debuted in 2012.