John Siceloff, longtime PBS producer, dies at 61

John Siceloff, an American journalist who reported for “The MacNeil/Lehrer Report” and co-created PBS’s “Now” with Bill Moyers, died on Friday at his home in Dutchess County, New York. He suffered from prostate cancer. He was 61.

Born on St. Helena, South Carolina, to Courtney and Elizabeth Siceloff, Siceloff graduated from Swarthmore College with a degree in history before earning a master’s in broadcast journalism from Stanford.

According to Current, he began reporting for “The MacNeil/Lehrer Report” and BBC-TV as a freelance journalist before working as a bureau chief for both CBS News in El Salvador and for NBC News in Nicaragua, both during times of political conflict.

After producing for ABC and NBC, Siceloff left his senior production position at ABC’s “America.01” in January 2002 to create “Now with Bill Moyer,” a weekly PBS series focusing on current affairs. Siceloff continued to be an executive producer for the show even after Moyer left in 2004, and in 2008, he co-authored the book “Your America: Democracy’s Local Heroes” on the individuals profiled on Now. That next year Siceloff founded Catch the Next, a nonprofit to help at-risk college students in Texas and served as CEO of JumpStart Global Media, a media company working toward social change. In his lifetime, he earned six national Emmy awards as well as the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award and a Peabody Award, among others.

“I did not know John when PBS officials recommended him to be executive producer,” Moyers told Current, “But in the three years we worked together I found him to be conscientious, inventive and supportive of our efforts to expand the range of stories being covered on public television and to open what had been a narrow range of elite opinion and ideas to a far more diverse dialogue and debate.”

Siceloff leaves behind his wife, Birgit Siceloff, his son Andrew Siceloff and sister, Mary Siceloff.