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February 24, 2017

Former WNET Executive Passes Away

Credit: Joseph Sinnott

Credit: Joseph Sinnott

Ward C. Chamberlin, former Vice President and Managing Director at WNET, died peacefully yesterday in Lenox, Massachusetts. He was 95.

Ward had a long and storied career. A lawyer by training, he was one of the founders of public broadcasting and served as the first operating officer of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, where he played a major role in the creation of PBS and NPR. He greenlit Ken Burns’ Civil War, and went on to appear in Ken’s 2008 series, The War.

He spent 15 years at WETA in Washington, DC before joining WNET in 1995. While here, he greenlit a wide variety of local and national programming including City Arts, City Life, Egg the Arts Show and many more. He retired from WNET in 2003. Ward was also interviewed for THIRTEEN’s 50th Anniversary Oral History Project in 2012.

Ward will be remembered as a smart, thoughtful colleague, a champion of the creative process and a passionate believer in public media. PBS NewsHour will be airing a special tribute to Ward this evening (7pm on THIRTEEN).


Ward Chamberlin with documentarian Ken Burns.

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