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Former BBC America executive Perry Simon has been tapped as chief programming executive and general manager at PBS. Paula Kerger, PBS president and CEO, made the announcement Monday at the top of her question-and-answer session in front of the media at the semiannual Television Critics Association press tour.
Simon replaces Beth Hoppe, who left earlier this year to take on a production role at ABC News.
A veteran production executive, Simon also has occupied roles at Vulcan Productions, Viacom Productions and NBC Entertainment. He’ll oversee all non-children’s programming at PBS.
“High-quality content is at the core of our work at PBS,” Kerger said. “Perry brings a breadth of media experience, including leadership roles at BBC and Vulcan Productions — two of our longstanding partners who share a commitment to educational and informative content. He is an innovative leader who will work closely with our extraordinary team at PBS, as well as producers and partners across the public television system, to deliver on our mission of service to the American people.”
Simon was at BBC America until 2015, during which time the net launched Orphan Black, Broadchurch and The Hour. He comes to PBS from Vulcan, which was founded by former Microsoft executive and philanthropist Paul G. Allen, where as general manager he oversaw documentary projects including PBS’ Going to War.
“PBS’ commitment to quality, education and diversity across every genre is unmatched in the industry,” Simon said. “I’m excited to join such a talented team of programmers and producers to present stories, voices and experiences that are simply not accessible anywhere else without a ticket or a subscription.”
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