PBS’ Marie Nelson takes SVP position with ABC News

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Marie Nelson is leaving PBS for ABC News, where she will lead efforts to attract a multicultural audience and assist with recruiting diverse talent for the newsroom. 


ABC News President James Goldston announced her appointment as SVP, integrated content strategy, in a note circulated Wednesday to the news division. “Marie will work closely with leaders across the news division to strengthen our brand with multicultural audiences,” he wrote. “She’ll help unify our efforts to diversify our content so it’s even more robust and identify opportunities to better connect with and understand our viewers, readers and listeners.”

Nelson will work on talent recruitment with ABC’s HR division to help “attract, develop and retain a workforce that mirrors our global audience,” Goldston added.

“Marie possesses an in-depth understanding of the news landscape, and, throughout her impressive career spanning a wide cross section of media and news, she has created opportunities for diverse talent and storytelling,” he said.  

Nelson, VP of news and public affairs at PBS since 2014, starts in the new job Monday.  She is the second PBS program executive to join ABC News since last year. Former Chief Program Executive Beth Hoppe, who hired Nelson and elevated the role of supervising news and public affairs at PBS to VP-level, joined ABC News last year as SVP of long form content

At PBS, Nelson served as lead for news and public affairs programming, working closely with programs such as PBS NewsHour and Frontline and the independent film series POV and Independent Lens. Early in her tenure, she led efforts to increase PBS’ support for independent film following a contentious series of talks with independent producers concerned about the scheduling and visibility of their work on public television.

Nelson’s new job marks a return to the network where she started her broadcasting career. In an earlier stint at ABC News, she worked on World News Tonight and Nightline.

Her contributions to public media extend beyond her latest job as PBS’s top news executive. Nelson was EP of national programs for WGBH in Boston, where she piloted a weekly late-night debate program with Ozy Media’s Carlos Watson and developed a live town-hall format for responding divisive issues in the news. She led the launch of NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin in 2007, and later worked for Viacom/BET Networks as VP and EP of news and original programming. 

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