The founding executive producer of PBS’ investigative documentary strand ‘Frontline’ is stepping down after 33 seasons.
David Fanning, who has worked as exec producer since founding the series in 1983, will return to making documentaries and developing film projects, but remains with ‘Frontline’ and producer WGBH as executive producer at large.
He will be succeeded by Raney Aronson (pictured), who joined the show in 2001 and has been transitioning into the role over the past three years. She will officially take the reins on June 1.
“It’s been an extraordinary privilege to have led ‘Frontline’ for more than three decades,” Fanning said in a statement. “I have had one of the best jobs in journalism, and been able to work with so many talented and smart people. They have made ‘Frontline’ what it is, and I have had great joy in helping them make that happen. I have deep confidence that Raney Aronson will carry on this work with distinction.”
Aronson joined the series as a producer and has risen through the ranks, most recently becoming deputy executive producer in 2012. Since then, she has led the show’s editorial vision together with Fanning and established a collaborative model to develop and manage 30 cross-platform journalism partnerships with news outlets such as The New York Times, CBC, Univision and ProPublica.
Prior to joining ‘Frontline,’ she worked for ABC News, The Wall Street Journal and MSNBC.
“David Fanning has established ‘Frontline’ as the high bar in journalism, the standard by which serious, in-depth reporting is measured,” said WGBH president Jonathan Abbott in a statement. “We are grateful not only for his decades of committed editorial leadership, but also his dedicated and thoughtful planning for a transition to a strong future.”
“It is a great honor to become executive producer of ‘Frontline,’” added Aronson. “David Fanning’s mentorship and partnership over the past fifteen years has been extraordinary. I am inspired by his legacy, and honored to guide ‘Frontline”s future.”