Linda Simensky, a longtime executive at PBS, has been promoted to a new role: head of content, PBS Kids.
She was previously vice president of children’s programming.
What does the promotion mean?
Simensky’s expanded role signals a growing focus at PBS on non-broadcast media. According to a statement, she “will spearhead new, experimental approaches for emerging platforms to engage kids and support their learning, developing a slate of content that represents the next generation of children.”
What about PBS’s traditional channels?
Don’t worry — children’s content isn’t being pulled from television! Simensky will continue to oversee the pipeline of children’s programs for PBS stations’ primary channels and PBS Kids 24/7 channel. She will still report to Lesli Rotenberg, chief programming executive and general manager for children’s media and education.
What is Simensky’s record at PBS?
She has been at the pubcaster since 2003, in which time she’s developed a range of shows. They include Odd Squad, Dinosaur Train, and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (inspired by the iconic Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood) — all of which have won Emmys. She even had a cameo appearance in PBS Kids’s Word Girl. According to the pubcaster, the shows Simensky has worked on now reach 72% of all kids aged 2–8 in the U.S. on television, and 10.9 million monthly users across digital platforms.
What did she do before?
Prior to joining PBS, Simensky worked for eight years at Cartoon Network. As its senior vice president of original animation, she shepherded shows such as The Powerpuff Girls, Dexter’s Laboratory, and Samurai Jack to the screen. She began her career at Nickelodeon, where, over a nine-year tenure, she helped build the animation department and launch the popular series Rugrats, Doug, and The Ren & Stimpy Show.
Plenty. Simensky has lectured at numerous colleges and animation festivals, and currently teaches college courses on the topic of animation at her alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. She founded the New York chapter of Women in Animation. In the past, she has contributed to Cartoon Brew — discover her writing here.