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, VP, Children’s Programming, PBS
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.