WGBH selects National Geographic TV exec to head national programming

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John Bredar, a senior executive producer at National Geographic Television, is the new head of national programming at major producing station WGBH in Boston. He succeeds current Vice President of National Programming Margaret Drain, who announced her retirement last year.



WGBH President Jon Abbott said in the announcement today that Bredar “has a well-earned reputation for productions of the highest quality.” Bredar will oversee all primetime series produced in Boston and seen nationally on PBS, such as American Experience, Nova, Frontline, Masterpiece and Antiques Roadshow, as well as related content for digital media.

Bredar joined Nat Geo in 1986 and has overseen development, production and post-production of more than 150 programs including 2005’s Arlington: Field of Honor, for which he won a Best Director Emmy. He also won a George Foster Peabody Award as executive producer of Ape Genius, a co-production with Nova about primate intelligence, and has produced 13 other Nova episodes. Bredar developed the “National Geographic Specials” series and created the “Inside” series, which included the acclaimed Inside the White House and Inside the Vatican. His documentary films focus on science and the natural world, history, drama and political investigation.

Abbott also promoted Denise Dilanni to the new position of senior executive for content development. She will oversee research and concept development of new programs and series. “WGBH has been sharpening its focus on expanding our pipeline of new ideas that are essential to future content creation,” Abbott said.

In addition to serving in various production, business and creative roles at the station, Dilanni also is a founding director of WGBH Lab, and launched the station’s Filmmakers in Residence Program (currently in hiatus).

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