Former BBC America Exec Perry Simon Named PBS Programming Chief


Perry Simon is joining PBS as its next chief programming executive and general manager for general audience programming.

Simon will oversee all non-children’s programming and will begin his new role in late September. From 2010 to 2015, Simon served as general manager of BBC America, overseeing the channel’s cable and digital platforms. Most recently, Simon was managing director at Vulcan Productions, the social impact media company founded by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen.

“High-quality content is at the core of our work at PBS,” said Paula Kerger, PBS’s president and CEO. “Perry brings a breadth of media experience, including leadership roles at BBC and Vulcan Productions—two of our longstanding partners who share a commitment to educational and informative content. He is an innovative leader who will work closely with our extraordinary team at PBS, as well as producers and partners across the public television system, to deliver on our mission of service to the American people.”

“PBS’s commitment to quality, education and diversity across every genre is unmatched in the industry,” Simon said. “I’m excited to join such a talented team of programmers and producers to present stories, voices and experiences that are simply not accessible anywhere else without a ticket or a subscription.”

Additionally, PBS revealed a number of programming highlights during its TCA presentation. Among them, PBS and American Experience announced the new two-hour documentary Woodstock, scheduled to premiere on PBS in 2019 in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the historic three-day concert. Directed by filmmaker Barak Goodman, Woodstock examines the tumultuous decade that led to those three historic days. Reconstruction: America After the Civil War (working title) is a new four-hour documentary executive produced and hosted by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. It will premiere next spring on PBS stations nationwide. Ken Burns Presents the Gene: An Intimate History, a new three-hour documentary executive produced by Ken Burns, will premiere over three nights in spring 2020 on PBS.