Dalton Delan leaves WETA after 21 years with station

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WETA EVP and chief TV programmer Dalton Delan stepped down Friday.

Delan

John Wilson, the former PBS chief program executive who joined the Washington, D.C., station as VP in March, will oversee WETA’s national production division on an interim basis, according to a station announcement Thursday. Delan, EVP and chief programming officer for WETA TV since 1998, will work as a consultant during the transition.

Delan “has brought his extraordinary creativity and intellectual engagement to a host of projects at WETA over his 21 years here,” President Sharon Rockefeller said in an email announcing his departure to staff. “Among his proudest achievements at WETA has been the transformation of our performing arts offerings.”

Delan revitalized In Performance at the White House, “drawing dazzling talent to … celebrations of diverse American music genres and cultural experiences,” Rockefeller said. She also credited Delan for bringing The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor to public television and co-creating The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

As a consultant, Delan will work on upcoming performance specials from this year’s Twain and Gershwin Prizes. In Performance at the White House, which last showcased performances staged in the Obama White House, last delivered a new episode in 2016. 

Delan also plans to pursue other media projects and is especially interested in digital-first productions, said Mary Stewart, WETA EVP for external affairs. “He’s been very engaged in digital initiatives that had transmedia components,” such as a series of animated shorts that were produced as digital-only components for Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, a 2015 PBS documentary series.

As VP for project management, Wilson handles WETA’s production partnerships with PBS’ top independent producers, including Ken Burns and Henry Louis Gates Jr. He also coordinates cross-platform initiatives with WETA’s digital team.

Wilson’s title will not change while he takes on additional responsibilities on an interim basis, Stewart said. Decisions about a permanent replacement will be made later.

Delan is the second veteran WETA executive to move into a consulting role this year. Kevin Harris, VP and TV station manager for 15 years, left in May.

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