John Wilson has been promoted to SVP and chief national content officer at WETA, the PBS producing station based in Washington, D.C.
Wilson will oversee and manage the national production portfolio and content across platforms, including the WETA-produced series PBS NewsHour and Washington Week and limited series and documentaries from Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Ken Burns’ Florentine Films.
Performing arts specials and lifestyle series such as America’s Test Kitchen, Samantha Brown’s Places to Love and Martha Stewart’s Cooking School will also be Wilson’s responsibility.
Wilson joined WETA in March as VP of project management. He began supervising its national TV productions on an interim basis in September after Dalton Delan, his former boss as EVP and chief TV programmer, stepped down.
“WETA has stellar production partners, and I am grateful for the opportunity to bring their projects to audiences across the country,” Wilson said in a news release announcing his appointment. “Together, we will advance our public service mission to provide viewers with content of intellectual integrity and cultural merit.”
Wilson will report to WETA President and CEO Sharon Percy Rockefeller and COO and EVP Jason Daisey.
“John is a proven leader, with an extensive background in public media,” Rockefeller said in WETA’s announcement. “His experience in program strategy and his comprehensive management skills are a perfect fit for WETA as we grow our robust portfolio of public affairs, history, science and arts productions.”
Wilson, a former SVP and chief program executive for PBS, departed public TV in 2014 and began working with AARP as a media consultant. He was later named VP and director of AARP’s Life Reimagined Institute. Wilson joined WETA this spring as the station was expanding its portfolio of national productions. In June, WETA took over public TV distribution of BBC World News and BBC World News America. WETA also became the presenting station for This Old House and its spinoff Ask This Old House.
WETA now oversees production of more than 350 hours of national programming annually, making it the second-largest producer in the public TV system after WGBH in Boston.