Jason Seiken, PBS’s innovative head of digital media who exhorted stations to embrace a more videocentric future, will leave the public broadcaster in October to take over as chief content officer and editor-in-chief at the Telegraph Media Group in London.
PBS President Paula Kerger told public television executives in an email today that Seiken has done “a truly extraordinary job” over his nearly seven years at PBS. Under his leadership, PBS launched local-national digital initiatives, including the COVE video site and Bento website toolbox for stations. It also pioneered the Webby Award–winning PBS Digital Studios and pushed PBS.org and PBSKids.org to large increases in traffic.
Kerger added that “on a personal level, I know that this move makes the most sense for Jason and his family, as they have been interested in moving back to London for some time.” Seiken will be working for the largest non-tabloid newspaper in the United Kingdom, running a 500-person newsroom.
In the announcement, Seiken thanked Kerger and PBS COO Michael Jones “for embracing change and encouraging innovation across the organization. PBS is truly a special organization and I will miss the dedication and passion of my colleagues across the system.”
Kerger said PBS would undertake a national search for Seiken’s replacement. In the interim, Jayme Swain, v.p., strategy and operations, and Jon Brendsel, v.p., product development, will lead the digital team.