Board of Directors
President and CEO of WNET
In his seven years as chief executive of WNET, Neal Shapiro has set new fundraising records, increased local and national productions, expanded distribution and stabilized the station's financial standing.Throughout his tenure at WNET, he has looked for new opportunities to expand public media's value by increasing programming and enhancing community services.
In 2011, when the State of New Jersey eliminated all taxpayer funds for the statewide public television network, WNET stepped in and built a more efficient operation, with a sustainable business plan and a balanced budget. Today, NJTV partners with universities, media outlets and local film makers to offer more hours of local programming and is about to embark on a new facility.
When CPB announced the American Graduate initiative, Shapiro launched American Graduate Day and included an opt-in for stations of any size to allow any local station to reinforce its value to the education community. The seven-hour program achieved more than 80% carriage on PBS stations in 2014.
At WLIW and Thirteen, Shapiro jump-started local production in public affairs, history and a new prime-time arts program. In 2012, WNET developed a new digital content sharing platform to benefit other stations; members can upload their content and download a fully scripted, customizable arts show. Today, the 34 member stations report their new local arts shows are leading them to new viewers, supporters and funders.
The platform has been successfully extended to include a new program on science and technology that launched this fall.
Shapiro also included an optional segment for local stations during the newly launched NewsHour Weekend; he has worked with his education and outreach department to develop more local outreach opportunities for programs like Looking for Lincoln, Shakespeare Uncovered, ANNIE: It's the Hard Knock Life, and more.
Before joining WNET, Shapiro was President of NBC News from 2001 to 2007. In 25 years as a broadcast journalist and executive, he has won 3 Columbia DuPont Awards, 31 Edward R. Murrow Awards and 32 Emmys. He has served on the APT Board and is now on the boards of Gannett and his alma mater, Tufts University.
He lives in NYC with his wife, Juju Chang, co-anchor of ABC News Nightline, and their three sports-obsessed sons.
Mr. Shapiro is Chair of the PBS Strategic Planning Advisory Group and serves on the Executive, Station Services and Nominating and Corporate Governance committees and the Member Services Access Working Group.