PBS has named former BBC America general manager Perry Simon as its new chief programming executive.
Simon replaces former chief programming executive Beth Hoppe, who left the public broadcaster in February for a gig with ABC News. Paula Kerger announced the hire during her executive session at the Television Critics Association press tour on Monday.
“High-quality content is at the core of our work at PBS,” Kerger said. “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.”
Perry was the general manager of BBC America from 2010 to 2015, overseeing the launch of, “Orphan Black,” the network’s first original series. Simon also helped orchestrate multiple U.S.-U.K. co-productions, including “Luther,” “The Hour” and “Broadchurch,” and several documentaries in partnership with the BBC’s natural history unit.
Most recently, Simon was managing director at Vulcan Productions, the social impact media company founded by Microsoft co-founder and Paul Allen. Vulcan Productions has often partnered with PBS, including documentary film “Going to War,” and last year’s live PBS telecast and the forthcoming documentary on Allen’s discovery of the USS Indianapolis.
“PBS’ 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.”
Earlier in his career at NBC, Simon had a hand in developing such iconic TV shows including “Cheers,” “The Golden Girls,” “Law and Order,” “Frasier” and “Seinfeld.”