PBS hires two new — but well known — programming veeps

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Two names familiar to public broadcasters are coming to PBS as new vice presidents of programming. Beth Hoppe, who begins work Aug. 8, developed the reality frontrunners Frontier House and Colonial House; Donald Thoms, arriving later this month, created the Independent Lens documentary series.

In a statement, PBS Chief Operating Officer Michael Jones called them “smart, talented individuals who truly understand public television and have excellent experience in content development.”

Since 2009, Hoppe has been an e.p. at Discovery Studios, where she developed the series Human Nature and other projects. She also worked as president and c.e.o. of indie TV producers Optomen Productions from 2004 to 2009; and from 1998 to 2004, she served as director, science programs, for WNET in New York.

Since 2009 Thoms has led his ThomsMediaGroup (TMG), a multimedia consultant focusing on TV production and development; his clients included Discovery, WNET and MTV. He also served as vice president, program production at DiscoveryHealth Channel from 1999 to 2007, overseeing daily operations. Previously he was vice president of talent development and casting for Discovery Communications. He worked at PBS as vice president, program management from 1993 to 1999.