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November 2, 2018

Meet Chelsea Rugg

As an Associate Producer, Social Video, IEG, Chelsea Rugg creates digital and social videos for WNET’s national and local properties, from square videos on Facebook and Twitter to Instagram Stories and vertical video. “Sometimes my job involves adapting a promo from on-air so it will work best online, and other times it involves writing scripts for original videos to best suit the different platforms,” Chelsea says. Read on to learn about the path that led her to WNET, her Wishbone obsession, and more.

Chelsea Rugg

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

After graduating college, I worked for a while in the film festival circuit. I interned with a few festivals in Chicago and spent two winters in Utah working for Sundance. It didn’t take long for me to get tired of the nomadic lifestyle, so I decided to move to New York. Once I got here, I started working at Penguin Random House and eventually worked my way onto their video team. At PRH, I became good friends with Melissa Major (Hi Melissa!), who works here in IEG, and she recommended me for my current position. And now, here I am!

Are there any current or upcoming projects you’re particularly excited about?

We’ve been experimenting with an interactive video software that could open the doors for so many exciting sorts of projects! I’ve also been working on a bunch of fun videos for some of the upcoming Nature episodes, specifically Dogs in the Land of Lions and Snow Bears.

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?

Wishbone was such a big part of my childhood that I sometimes doubt if I’ve read an actual book, or just the Wishbone version. Not only was Wishbone the cutest dog, but he also helped make me an avid, and slightly obsessive, reader.

Anything Wishbone, I had to have it. Of course, I watched every episode of the show, but I also owned all of the books (the flipbooks on the side of all the pages were my favorite!), the Dairy Queen toys (definitely still have them in a closet somewhere), and the computer game “Wishbone and the Amazing Odyssey.” I recently spent longer than I’d like to admit watching someone play through that computer game on YouTube. It doesn’t quite hold up, but I certainly loved it as a kid!

Which three shows airing on our stations this month are you most likely to watch, stream, or record?

I’m so excited for Broadway’s Best on Great Performances! I’ve seen a bit of An American in Paris and can’t wait to watch the rest. John Leguizamo’s Road to Broadway is also right up my alley. Additionally, I plan to gather my cats, Deli and Bodega, and watch the final episode of Super Cats!

Chelsea’s super cats, Deli and Bodega

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

I live up in Washington Heights. I’m in a high-rise apartment building and have the nicest view of the George Washington Bridge. When I get home in time for the sunset, it’s beautiful. Lightning storms, they’re awesome.

Whenever I manage to get someone to come visit me uptown, I love to take them to Le Cheile. It’s this really fun Irish pub/restaurant that’s always doing something different. They’ve got wing nights on Mondays and Cabaret nights on Sundays. I love it so much. I’ve definitely been in there on a Saturday night for dinner and a Sunday morning for brunch, with no judgment from the staff.

What book are you currently reading?

I’m actually between books right now. I was on such a streak, but the books I was reading were all kind of downers. Idaho by Emily Ruskovich was beautiful, but I definitely needed a break after that. Whenever that kind of thing happens, I tend to go back to some of my favorite short story collections. This past week, I’ve been going back through Tenth of December by George Saunders and What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi.

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

I love to craft and work on stop motion projects. I’m currently working on a stop motion short film about two Chapsticks falling in love. I’m also a very intense puzzler. I have very strict rules when it comes to puzzles—nothing under a thousand pieces and no looking at the box once it’s opened. Now that it’s getting colder, I’ll probably be doing a lot of that!

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