Shawn Halford named EVP for American Public Television

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American Public Television, a syndication and program exchange service for public television, is promoting Shawn Halford to EVP of content next month, a change that puts him in charge of its program division.

APT also hired Dan Soles, a veteran public TV program executive, as VP of syndication and premium service, reporting to Halford. He succeeds Eric Luskin, who is retiring in January.


As EVP, Halford will continue to manage his current portfolio as VP of exchange and digital services. Before arriving at APT in 2018, Halford had worked at PBS for more than 20 years and was senior director of programming and scheduling. He will report to APT CEO Cynthia Fenneman.

“In just three years, Shawn has contributed tremendously to APT’s exchange and digital services for the system,” said Fenneman in a news release announcing the leadership changes Monday. He has overseen titles such as Legacy List with Matt Paxton, Rick Steves Europe Awaits and the annual The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

“Shawn’s passion for content, intelligence, professionalism, appreciation of data and aptitude for processes are most instrumental as the content world becomes more complex and rich with opportunity,” Fenneman said.


Soles most recently worked as VP of programming for The Programming Service for Public Television. Previously, he was SVP and chief television content officer for WTTW in Chicago. Soles serves on the board of Latino Public Broadcasting and was board president of the Public Television Programming Association earlier in his career. He has also served on advisory boards and panels for PBS Kids, the Independent Television Service and the National Endowment for Humanities.

Soles “has a wealth of knowledge in local and system-wide programming, building public media audiences and creating an inclusive environment for both viewers and content creators,” Halford said in APT’s announcement.

Both Halford and Soles begin their new jobs Dec. 17.


Luskin joined APT in 1996 after working for the New Jersey Network, the precursor of NJ PBS. In 25 years with APT, Luskin secured British dramas such as Midsomer Murders and Doc Martin for national public TV syndication and the pledge titles Bee Gees: One Night Only, Leonard Cohen and Great Scenic Railway Journeys, among others.

“Eric has built a tremendous legacy full of successful and important programming for viewers nationwide,” said Fenneman in the news release. “We are very appreciative of his decades of hard, smart work and wish him the best of adventures ahead.”

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