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Executive Biographies

Lesli Rotenberg Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Children's Media and Education, PBS

Lesli small KIDS executives Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Children's Media and Education, 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

Linda small KIDS exec bio page

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

Sara small sq KIDS executives

Sara DeWitt, Vice President, PBS KIDS Digital

Over the last 18 years, Sara DeWitt has worked at the forefront of new digital platforms, in an effort to be everywhere kids are: from websites and mobiles apps to streaming video, augmented reality, 3D-rendered experiences, and wearable technologies. As VP of PBS KIDS Digital, she oversees the Kidscreen- and Webby-award winning pbskids.org website, PBS KIDS streaming video services, the PBS KIDS portfolio of educational apps for children, and the PBS KIDS for Parents digital experiences. Most recently, Sara led her team through the development of the PBS KIDS 24/7 digital live stream, an integral part of the new PBS KIDS 24/7 services launched in January of 2017. In 2014, she was named one of the top 42 Women Leading in Education by the USC Rossier School of Education, and was selected as one of the Top Women in Digital by Cynopsis Media in 2016 and 2017. Most recently, Sara gave a TED Talk about the potential media has to positively affect learning.

Before her career in public media, DeWitt worked as a preschool teacher, a management researcher, and studied media habits of children in rural areas of the United States. She holds a BA and an MA in English from Stanford University, and holds a certificate from the University’s Children, Society, and Public Policy curriculum. She is also a military spouse who has moved with her husband and two young sons four times in the last five years. They currently live in Alexandria, Virginia.

Media Contacts

Press Materials

  • PBS KIDS TO LAUNCH MOLLY OF DENALI, FIRST NATIONALLY DISTRIBUTED CHILDREN’S SERIES TO FEATURE ALASKA NATIVE LEAD CHARACTER

    Program Release
  • PBS KIDS ANNOUNCES LET’S GO LUNA!, PREMIERING NOVEMBER 21, 2018

    Program Release
  • PBS KIDS OFFERS SNEAK PEEK OF ITS FIRST SERIES DEDICATED TO THE ARTS AND CREATIVITY: PINKALICIOUS & PETERRIFIC

    Program Release
  • PBS KIDS Debuts New Movie From Family-Favorite Series ODD SQUAD This January

    Program Release
  • HALLOWEEN COMES TO PBS KIDS WITH NEW PROGRAMMING, GAMES AND ACTIVITIES FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY

    Press Release
  • 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

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