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PBS ups Sylvia Bugg to chief programmer, GM for general audience programming

U.S. public broadcaster PBS has elevated Sylvia Bugg, most recently VP of general audience programming, to chief programming executive and GM, general audience programming. Reporting to PBS president and CEO Paula ...
October 20, 2020

U.S. public broadcaster PBS has elevated Sylvia Bugg, most recently VP of general audience programming, to chief programming executive and GM, general audience programming.

Reporting to PBS president and CEO Paula Kerger, Bugg will be tasked with oversight of all non-children’s content and leading PBS’s programming strategy across its broadcast and digital platforms. She will also be responsible for the acquisition and development of programming for PBS and its member stations, with a particular emphasis on “sharing important stories that reflect the diversity of our country”, according to PBS.

In her previous position as VP, she led editorial strategy across all genres, including news, public affairs, documentaries, history, science, natural history and arts programs.

Recently, with the onset of the pandemic, she restructured PBS’s daytime and primetime schedules to prioritize educational and cultural programs, and also shifted the service’s multi-platform content offerings to include the re-broadcast of films focused on Black American history by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Stanley Nelson, in addition to a curated list of programs from such strands and programs as ‘Frontline’, ‘POV’, ‘Independent Lens’, PBS Newshour and others.

Prior to her time with PBS and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Bugg had worked with Discovery Communications in programming, production and operations for 12 years.

“At a time when the work of public television is more important than ever, Sylvia is the ideal leader to take on this critical role,” said Kerger in a statement about the appointment. “Throughout her impressive career, she has brought an extraordinary portfolio of programming to audiences across America, and she has been a passionate champion for PBS and our member stations.”

PBS’s previous chief programming executive, Perry Simon, exited from the post this past summer.

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