Sylvia Bugg Promoted to Chief of Programming at PBS

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PBS has announced the promotion of Sylvia Bugg to serve as Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming.

Bugg will take on this new role immediately and report directly to PBS President and CEO Paula Kerger.

Bugg will oversee all non-children’s content and lead PBS’s programming strategy across its broadcast and digital platforms. She will also be responsible for the acquisition and development of world-class programming for PBS and its member stations, with a particular focus on sharing important stories that reflect the diversity of our country.

Bugg previously served as Vice President of General Audience Programming, where she oversaw the PBS editorial team and led the strategy across all genres, including news, public affairs, documentaries, history, science, natural history and arts programs. 

Since the onset of the pandemic, Bugg and the Programming team have enhanced PBS’s content strategy to help our country navigate these uncertain times. In partnership with the WORLD Channel, various producers and PBS member stations, Bugg restructured PBS’s daytime and primetime schedules to prioritize educational and cultural programs that meet the needs of millions of Americans.

Bugg also played a leading role in leveraging public television’s national platform to support the conversation around race in America. Working closely with internal and external stakeholders, she shifted PBS’s broadcast and streaming content offerings to include the re-broadcast of films focused on African American history by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Stanley Nelson, in addition to a curated list of programs from FRONTLINE, POV, INDEPENDENT LENS, PBS NEWSHOUR and other iconic series that explore race and the impact of racism.

“At a time when the work of public television is more important than ever, Sylvia is the ideal leader to take on this critical role,” said Kerger. “Throughout her impressive career, she has brought an extraordinary portfolio of programming to audiences across America, and she has been a passionate champion for PBS and our member stations.”

Prior to joining PBS, Bugg served as Vice President of Diversity and TV Content at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). In this role, she provided strategic leadership and was responsible for CPB’s efforts to advance diversity across public media through the collaboration and support of content creators, distributors and partnering organizations.

Bugg also previously worked at PBS as Director of General Audience Programming, where she led efforts to develop a portfolio of drama, performance and cultural programs. She also held several programming roles in history and public affairs at PBS. Prior to joining PBS, Bugg spent 12 years in programming, production and operations for several Discovery Communications networks.

Bugg holds an MBA from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, an MA in Journalism from American University and a BA in Communications from Old Dominion University. She is a member of the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications and Women In Film and Video. Through the T. Howard Foundation, she also mentors diverse and underrepresented college students and young professionals interested in media.