American pubcaster PBS has solidified its top line structure with the appointment of accomplished industry veteran Perry Simon as its new chief programming executive and GM for general audience programming.
During the Television Critics Association summer press tour, it was announced that Simon will be responsible for all non-children’s programming when he takes on his role within the organization in late September.
“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,” PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger said in a statement. “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.”
Most recently, Simon served as MD at Vulcan Productions, the social impact media company founded by Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen. Prior to that, the executive worked as GM of BBC America where he oversaw the channel’s cable and digital platforms.
Earlier in his career, Simon served as president of Viacom Productions over a 10-year period, with oversight of the development and production of series and movies targeted for broadcast and cable networks, as well as first-run syndication, international markets, children’s markets and emerging digital platforms.
As chief content officer at the Silicon Valley startup Sezmi Corporation, he licensed deals with networks and major film studios to launch one of the earliest OTT television services. He also served as an early advisor to YouTube before the video streamer was acquired by Google.
A member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Simon began his television career at NBC, where he rose through the ranks to become EVP in charge of the primetime schedule. There, he helped develop and supervise such iconic series as Cheers, The Golden Girls, Frasier and Seinfeld.