James Dunford appointed CEO of American Public Television

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James Dunford is leaving his executive role at PBS to become the next president and CEO of American Public Television, the syndication and program exchange service.


Dunford starts the job June 12. He succeeds Cynthia Fenneman, who announced last year that she would retire.

“Jim immediately identified APT’s ‘concierge service’ as an intrinsic cornerstone of APT’s business practices,” said Vegas PBS GM Mare Mazur, APT’s board chair. “With his long and unwavering dedication to station success combined with his creative problem-solving, Jim emerged as the ideal candidate to carry forward Cynthia’s remarkable legacy and capitalize on the potential that lies ahead.”

Dunford is currently SVP of station services for PBS. He joined the organization in 2016 as VP of programming and operations.

Before that he was managing director for American Experience, the history series produced by GBH in Boston. He was also series manager and postproduction director for American Experience and also worked as director of board relations and development operations for GBH.

“The opportunity to join APT at this moment of rapid change in media and to work in service of and in concert with public media stations to help them remain sustainable, valuable and relevant is a particular honor,” said Dunford in a news release. “I am excited to join the team and build on the APT legacy of delivering award-winning content from a diverse collection of producers and partners to audiences.”

In an outgoing statement, Fenneman pointed to the past and future of APT.

“For more than 60 years, APT has provided iconic programming content and has remained a nimble and dynamic enterprise with recent digital initiatives from streaming to APT Podcast Studios,” she said. “Jim’s tremendous experience in production, programming and station needs will lead the way for APT as public media navigates an ever-changing media landscape and APT remains true to its mission to help stations succeed.”

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