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Executive Biographies

Lesli Rotenberg General Manager, Children's Media, PBS

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Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager, Children's Media, PBS

As General Manager of Children’s Media at PBS, Lesli Rotenberg is responsible for the strategic direction of an innovative, dynamic children’s media service that meets the needs of a new generation of children, their parents and teachers, helping to prepare children for success in school and in life.

Lesli leads a cross-disciplinary team charged with content production, digital development, multi-platform asset distribution, education resources, marketing and communications and educational product creation for the #1 children's media brand. Seventy-seven percent of all children ages 2-8 watch PBS KIDS and each month pbskids.org attracts over 11 million unique visitors.
 
Inspired by her experiences raising her own two daughters, Lesli has led the development and distribution of top-rated PBS KIDS media properties for children ages 2 to 8. PBS KIDS continues to be a success with popular series that help kids build key science, literacy, critical thinking, social-emotional skills and more – including CURIOUS GEORGE, WILD KRATTS, ODD SQUAD and DINOSAUR TRAIN.  Under Lesli’s leadership, PBS has aggressively transformed itself from a broadcast company to a multi-platform leader that opens up worlds of possibilities for all children through educational television, mobile, the Web, interactive whiteboards, an award-winning line of toys and streaming video.

A children’s media expert and frequent speaker on the topic, Lesli was named one of the nation’s top 15 “Women to Watch” by Advertising Age, and invited to participate in the prestigious FORTUNE Most Powerful Women in Business Forum.  Lesli has received numerous advertising and promotion honors including 3 Emmy awards.

Linda Simensky Vice President, Children’s Programming, PBS

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Linda Simensky, VP, Children’s Programming, PBS

As Vice President of Children’s Programming at PBS, Linda Simensky collaborates with producers, co-production partners, PBS station programmers, and distributors throughout the development, production, post-production, and broadcast phases for PBS KIDS programming. 

Linda’s efforts in transforming PBS KIDS’ lineup for preschool- and school-age children over the past several years have brought PBS to the forefront of the children’s media space. The American public rates PBS KIDS as the most trusted educational media brand for children, and PBS KIDS programs consistently rank highly with moms and preschoolers.  PBS KIDS also was named Channel of the Year in Kidscreen’s 2013 broadcasting awards.

Since joining PBS in 2003, Linda has worked with renowned producers to develop hit shows that now reach 77% of all kids ages 2-8 in the U.S. – from CURIOUS GEORGE and DINOSAUR TRAIN, to WILD KRATTS and ODD SQUAD.

Building on PBS KIDS’ mission to offer educational media content to kids across all platforms, Linda also works closely with PBS KIDS’ digital team to build a cross-platform media experience for kids across all PBS KIDS media properties.

Before joining PBS, Linda was Senior Vice President of Original Animation for Cartoon Network, where she oversaw development and series production of "The Powerpuff Girls," among others. She began her career working for nine years at Nickelodeon, where she helped build the animation department and launch the popular series "Rugrats," "Doug" and "The Ren & Stimpy Show."  Linda is a frequent speaker and writer on the topic of children’s programming; she has presented at numerous animation and television conferences and her work has appeared in several books on animation and children’s media. She recently taught a college course at the University of Pennsylvania on “Contemporary Issues in Animation.”

Sara DeWitt Vice President, PBS KIDS Digital

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Sara DeWitt, Vice President, PBS KIDS Digital

As Vice President of PBS KIDS Digital, Sara DeWitt oversees day-to-day development of PBS’ multiplatform content for kids and families, including the Kidscreen- and Webby-award winning pbskids.org. 
 
DeWitt has led innovative strategies to build connected and immersive educational experiences for kids across media platforms. This includes pbskids.org, which reaches over 11 million unique visitors per month and offers hundreds of games, videos and activities. Named one of the “50 Best Websites 2012” by TIME.com, pbskids.org continues to be one of the top entertainment sites for kids and for kids’ video streams.

In addition, DeWitt has led the extension of PBS KIDS content into new frontiers – from mobile apps and interactive whiteboard games, to augmented reality and 3D-rendered gaming experiences.  She has supported the development of PBS KIDS’ suite of more than 30 educational apps.  DeWitt had an integral role in the launch of the PBS KIDS Video App, offering more free educational video content on mobile than any other children’s media brand.  The app was named one of the “50 Best Video Apps for Parents” by Babble. DeWitt extended PBS’ leadership in using augmented reality as an educational tool by partnering with WGBH to launch Fetch! Lunch Rush, an app that blends the virtual and real world to promote math comprehension in kids ages six to eight. 

Having joined PBS in 1999, DeWitt has worked with the PBS KIDS producer family on a variety of award-winning television program sites, such as CURIOUS GEORGE, SUPER WHY, ARTHUR, and WORDGIRL. DeWitt has also overseen production of nationally-recognized web-original projects such as CHUCK VANDERCHUCK’S “SOMETHING SOMETHING” EXPLOSION, OH NOAH!, and FIZZY’S LUNCH LAB. A frequent speaker on multimedia approaches to learning for kids, DeWitt has presented at renowned conferences including SXSW, Games for Change, and the Sandbox Summit.
 
Before coming to PBS KIDS, DeWitt worked as a preschool teacher and a management researcher. She also studied media habits of children in rural United States for a Stanford University Youth and Families Study. She holds both a BA and an MA in English from Stanford University, and a certificate from Stanford’s Children, Society, and Public Policy program.

Media Contacts

Press Materials

  • PBS KIDS AND CARSON-DELLOSA ANNOUNCE NEW LICENSING PARTNERSHIP

    Press Release
  • PBS KIDS ANNOUNCES THE RETURN OF FAN FAVORITE WITH NEW DIGITAL SERIES: THE RUFF RUFFMAN SHOW

    Press Release
  • PBS KIDS ANNOUNCES NEW SERIES LUNA AROUND THE WORLD, PREMIERING FALL 2018

    Press Release
  • PBS KIDS AND STATIONS BRIDGE THE SUMMER LEARNING GAP WITH ADVENTURE-FILLED SLATE OF NEW PROGRAMMING AND ACTIVITIES BEGINNING IN JUNE

    Press Release
  • PBS KIDS ANNOUNCES NEW SERIES PINKALICIOUS & PETERRIFIC, PREMIERING FEBRUARY 19, 2018

    Press Release
  • Twitch Announces Marathon of PBS KIDS’ Iconic Series Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

    Press Release
  • PBS KIDS Family Night Program Descriptions

    Description

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