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August 25, 2017

Meet Enaé Boone

As a Budget Controller in the Finance Department, Enaé Boone’s responsibilities include budget creation for new projects and tracking production expenditures to ensure that programs remain on budget. “As part of the Budget Control team, I also provide cost reporting for both internal and external review by PBS, CPB, and the various foundations and individuals that support our programming,” Enaé says. Read on to learn about the path that led Enaé to WNET, his favorite places on Roosevelt Island, and more.

What is your background, and how did you land at WNET?

I worked in television production for more than 23 years, and began my career at Time Warner working as a PA, then as a cameraman and technical director. The unit I worked for created programming content from the various titles under the Time, Inc. umbrella, such as Sports Illustrated, Fortune Magazine, People Magazine, and Entertainment Weekly, and it was aired on New York 1 News in its early days.

Most of my career, however, has been spent as a Production Manager and Line Producer for CNN, MTV, CBS, Food Network, and Rainbow Media, among others. I’ve been a Line Producer on cable television series including Breaking Vegas, American Eats, and Super Tools, for The History Channel, as well as Skeleton Stories and Dr. G: Medical Examiner for The Discovery Health Channel.

About seven years ago, after spending two straight years working in production jobs that required daily out-of-town travel, I decided I needed to be home for a while. When I came back to New York, I did some international production work for A&E’s Ancient Aliens, Storage Wars, Gene Simmons: Family Jewels, and American Pickers. Following that and before landing at WNET, I was the production accountant for seven seasons on Hotel Impossible, a long-running series on The Travel Channel.

For our Media with Impact campaign, we’ve been asking viewers to share stories describing how THIRTEEN has influenced their life. How has THIRTEEN (or the PBS station of your childhood) inspired you?

Some of my earliest television memories are the educational programs that aired on PBS like Sesame Street, Vegetable Soup, and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. I remember Mister Rogers having a small train that went around inside his house. I always wanted that train!

When the opportunity to come work for WNET presented itself, though, another favorite PBS show came to mind: High Feather, a program I watched as a teen when I was a summer camp counselor. I vividly remember the show’s messages about the importance of honesty, tolerance, and the value of friendship. Those messages are a part of me, and I know the same is true for many of us who were positively influenced by public broadcasting in our youth.

If you are ever asked how to get to Sesame Street, simply do what I do with my friends: point to your head, but also your heart because that is where the lessons we learn reside, and that is what impact can mean beyond the immediate moment.

The positive impact of the programming we produce today may not bear fruit in the minds and hearts of those who watch it until years later. That doesn’t make it any less valuable. It’s not important when then the impact was made, only that it was made, that it was positive, and that we are made better people from having been exposed to it. That lasting impact is why the work we do here is important.

Where do you live, and what are some of your favorite places in your neighborhood?

I currently live on Roosevelt Island. It’s a wonderful place to live. I grew up here in New York City, but had never visited Roosevelt Island. I meet people all the time who were also born and raised in NYC, but have never visited the island, and they all have the same question: what’s over there?

Well, I’ll tell you. The summers are especially enjoyable because the island is full of activities, like tennis, and soccer. Many weekends, you’ll see a mini-marathon or bike race being run along the outer edge of the island along the water. There are numerous parks and an indoor recreation center with a large swimming pool, though most buildings on the island do have their own. The RIOC Summer Movie Series exhibits films at Firefighters Field on Friday and Saturday nights, and there’s always food and ice cream available. But the best summertime perk is that if you live on the island, you’ll always have a great view of the 4th of July fireworks show.

On a more general note, we have our own fire department, public safety department, and every type of business or service, and we have an open air market every Saturday from morning to dusk, which sells fresh produce. My favorite place on the island is Four Freedoms Park, which looks toward the United Nations and is an architecturally stunning place. WNET fun fact: the park is the subject of a Treasures of New York film.

What book are you currently reading?

I just started reading The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Part of The Kingkiller Chronicle fantasy series, it was recommended to me while I was on vacation last week. It’s too early for me to give a full review yet, and that’s probably a good thing as my review would probably take up most of the space here in The Owl. If you’d like to know how the book is, by all means check back with me in a few weeks. If the book is good I’ll have a lot to say, and if the book is bad I’ll have A LOT to say. So, beware – I keep a soap box under my desk and will happily take it out to stand on and preach!

Do you have a special interest or hobby outside of work? If so, tell us about it!

I enjoy creative writing and also love basketball. I’m an avid Knicks fan even though I don’t know what the heck is going on inside Madison Square Garden right now. However, hope springs eternal. I’m a Knicks optimist and one of the faithful. So I believe that there will eventually be another championship banner hanging in the Garden. It’s on my bucket list to see, even if I have to suit up and go win it myself.

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