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Production Team

Retirement Revolution Series® is a Co-Production of Boyer Productions, LTD. and WTTW National Productions


WTTW National Productions

WTTW National Productions is a premier producer and presenter of original, high-quality television programs for both public and commercial television broadcast. WTTW National Productions is a division of Window to the World Communications, Inc., the parent company of WTTW11 Chicago, the nation’s most-watched public television station. For more than 50 years, WTTW11 and WTTW National Productions have introduced a wide array of ground-breaking television programming – reflecting the world’s rich and diverse arts and entertainment scene as well as education, politics, public affairs, business, and religion – to a national audience. Its landmark innovative series and original productions include the critically-acclaimed performance showcases Soundstage and Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis; Grannies on Safari; CEO Exchange; David Broza at Masada: The Sunrise Concert; MEXICO – One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless; and WordWorld, the first of four children’s properties to come from the Ready to Learn Partnership, a creative consortium that includes WTTW National Productions and Word World, LLC. WTTW is a pioneer in high definition television (HDTV) and in 1988 became the first television station in the country to produce a program in HDTV.

Frances Harth: Senior Executive Producer

Frances J. Harth is Vice President, Program Development and Syndication for National Productions at Window To The World Communications, Inc. (WTTW/Chicago). She develops programming for National Public Television and is the Executive Producer of David Broza at Masada and the Documentary series, Retirement Revolution Series®. She is the creator and Executive Producer of the national PBS series, The Americas’ Family Kitchen with Vertamae Grosvenor, and also MindBody Connection with Les Brown. She published two companion books with The Americas’ Family Kitchen With Vertamae Grosvenor and holds the copyright for these books. Ms. Harth also is responsible for the syndication of all national WTTW programs.

Prior to her employment at Channel 11, Ms. Harth served as Associate Producer for the nationally syndicated It’s Academic television quiz show produced by Channel 5 (NBC) in Chicago. When the series was picked up by Channel 2 (CBS), she continued with the series and also worked on various specials at WBBM Channel 2. Harth began her career as an editor for IBM in Endicott, N.Y. “Fran” Harth holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from DePaul University, Chicago, with semester study at the University of Mexico in Mexico City. She also holds a Radio and Television Journalism degree from Columbia College of Communications.

Parke Richeson: Executive in Charge

Parke Richeson is Executive in Charge of National Programming for Window to the World Communications. She leads the National Television business which includes ongoing popular series Soundstage, Mexico-One Plate at a Time with Rick Bayless, Word World, CEO Exchange, Grannies on Safari, McLaughlin Group and Legends of Jazz with Ramsey Lewis as well as critically-acclaimed television specials such as David Broza at Masada and The South Beach Heart Program.

With over 15 years experience in various media, Parke has served in key positions including financial management of television and radio stations WTTW 11 & 98.7WFMT, leadership of business affairs for the Chicago Production Center, and Publisher of the weekly regional magazine, CityTalk. Prior to joining WWCI, Parke managed investment accounts at Bank of America and developed marketing strategies for TV/radio station KQED in San Francisco. Parke holds a Masters of Management degree from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. While at Kellogg, she was named the Ardis Krainik Scholar. Parke holds a Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude from the University of Virginia, where she was also elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Brian Boyer: Executive Producer

Founder and President of Boyer Productions, Ltd. since l977, Brian Boyer is a creator of television documentaries for public broadcasting, novelist, and former investigative reporter for major American newspapers.  “The New Reality” is the third program in the ongoing series Retirement Revolution.  The first two programs, “Hazards and Vicissitudes” and “On Our Own,” were national prime-time PBS broadcasts in spring 2008.  “The New Reality” is the first magazine-style program of the series.

Boyer’s television production awards include three Emmy Awards for Best Production (Chicago); the Golden Apple from the National Educational Video Festival for Best Program; Best Editing, Chicago Film Festival; the Bronze Medal for Creative Excellence from the International Film and Video Festival; two San Francisco State Awards for Best Production; two Ohio State Awards for Best Production; and a shared national Peabody Award for Best Program with WBBMChicago and Bill Kurtis for the Agent Orange documentaries.

Author of six published books, he was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction for Cities Destroyed by Cash (Henry Regnery Books).  His other books include Prince of Thieves (Follett Books, New York City) and four Headhunter books, a series of hard-boiled detective stories, with John Wiseman (Pinnacle Books, New York).  Boyer was the first Assistant Director of the Illinois Arts Council and Assistant to the Director of the Illinois Department of Insurance.  He served as chief speech writer for the late Chicago Mayor Harold Washington from 1983-1985.  In recent years, Boyer has been a media consultant for the campaigns of numerous Democratic and Republican candidates in Illinois.

Crystal Carlson: Producer

Producer Crystal Carlson was an Assistant Producer on the first two Retirement Revolution programs.  Before being named a Producer for Retirement Revolution: The New Reality, she worked as an Associate Producer for the nationally broadcast series Mobsters, which aired on the Biography Channel.

Dan Deters: Editor

Dan Deters started working with Boyer Productions in 1999, helping design, edit, and animate an hour-long classical music video, which was a natural outgrowth of his background in music as a performer, opera conducer, and orchestral arranger.  He has since designed, edited, and engineered a wide range of projects with Boyer Productions, including the award-winning documentaries, Harold Washington – The Life and Times and Marriage – Just a Piece of Paper?, which won the Chicago International Film Award for Special Achievement in Editing.

Deters’ academic background in music culminated in his research in the physics and psychology of auditory perception used as a basis for music aptitude tests.

Active in civic organizations, he is a producer of environmental awareness media, a past board member of a McHenry County, Illinois arts education group and a former member of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Richmond, Ill.  His steadfast fight for smart growth principles and first amendment rights helped inspire the unanimous passage of anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) legislation in the state of Illinois.

Dan Kolen: Producer

Producer Dan Kolen worked as an Associate Producer on programs for The Weather Channel’s series When Weather Changed History and the History Channel.  Before being named Producer, he served as an Assistant Producer on the first two Retirement Revolution programs.

Family Stories

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Watch videos and read more about the families featured in Retirement Revolution: The New Reality.

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Expert Interviews

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Extended interviews with program experts offer additional information and helpful tips.

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Resources on the Web


Links to learn about heath, money, leisure, family, and much more.

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Watch videos and read more about families featured in Retirement Revolution: The New Reality