Peter S. McGhee Awarded Public Televisions Highest Honor
- For Immediate Release on June 24, 2002
Washington, D.C. -- Public televisions highest honor, the Ralph Lowell Award, was today awarded to Peter S. McGhee, vice president for national programming at the Boston-based WGBH Educational Foundation.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), which presents the award annually, recognized McGhee for his distinguished 32-year career, during which he made PBS the gold standard in nonfiction programming. He oversaw the creation and development of many of PBS's signature public affairs series such as Frontline, Nova, and American Experience. During McGhee's tenure, his productions won 37 Peabody Awards and 27 duPont-Columbia Awards. McGhee will be retiring from WGBH at the end of the summer.
"Peter has nurtured talent, developed international partnerships, and set the highest standards for editorial excellence," said CPB President and CEO Robert T. Coonrod.
McGhee began his broadcast career in 1964 as an associate producer of documentary at National Educational Television (NET) in New York. In 1969, McGhee joined WGBH as a producer of The Advocates and served as the series' executive editor from 1971 to 1974.
Later, WGBH named him program manager for national productions and in 1991 he became vice president for national programming. During his tenure, McGhee guided the development of Frontline, American Experience and Nova. Building on Nova's success, he created the WGBH science unit, whose productions include The Machine that Changed the World, Building Big and Evolution. History projects produced with McGhee's leadership include Vietnam: A Television History, War and Peace in the Nuclear Age, Inside Gorbachev's USSR, Columbus and the Age of Discovery, and the 26-part Century of Discovery.
Other programs developed under McGhee's watch include: a history of Rock & Roll, Sister Wendy's Story of Painting, Concealed Enemies and other dramas for American Playhouse, PBS's 24-hour Millennium Day broadcast, the AIDS Quarterly, Culture Shock, Exxon Mobil Masterpiece Theatre's American Collection and Antiques Roadshow, the most popular series on PBS.
"The award really goes to WGBH, whose peculiar chemistry drew so many creative people through its doors and fostered the work which the Ralph Lowell Award recognizes in honoring me," said McGhee.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,300 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.
Peter S. McGhee accepts Lowell award at PBS Annual Meeting in San Francisco
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