Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming
Perry Simon is Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming at PBS. In this role, he oversees the entire non-children’s programming strategy and budget, including the acquisition, development and production of world-class content for PBS and member stations. Working in close partnership with local stations and producing partners, and through leadership of the General Audience Programming team, Simon is focused on delivering mission-driven content across genres that educates, inspires, entertains and expresses a diversity of perspectives.
Simon’s extensive leadership experience stretches from major broadcast companies and cable networks to digital upstarts and production companies. He joined PBS from social impact media company Vulcan Productions, where he served as managing director with oversight of the development and distribution of feature documentaries, television series and digital content. From 2010 to 2015, Simon served as general manager of BBC America, overseeing the channel’s cable and digital platforms. During his tenure, he commissioned the network’s first original programming, including the Emmy Award-winning hit series “Orphan Black,” and helped orchestrate multiple US-UK co-productions, including “Luther,” “The Hour” and “Broadchurch,” and several documentaries in partnership with the BBC’s natural history unit.
Earlier in his career, Simon spent a decade as president of Viacom Productions, overseeing 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.
Simon has held leadership roles at the intersection of traditional television, film and digital media. As chief content officer at the Silicon Valley startup Sezmi Corporation, he executed licensing 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, up through its acquisition by Google.
He began his television career at NBC, rising to become executive vice president in charge of the primetime schedule. During this time, he helped develop and supervise some of the most iconic series of the 1980s and early 1990s, including “Cheers,” “The Golden Girls,” “Law and Order,” “Frasier” and “Seinfeld.”
A member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, Simon serves on the board of directors of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon, one of America’s oldest and largest regional theaters, where he helps lead work in the areas of digital innovation and equity, diversity and inclusion. He holds a B.A. from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.