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April 28, 2017

Meet Daniel Houston

As a Customer Service Associate in WNET’s Member and Viewer Relations Department, Daniel Houston assists THIRTEEN, WLIW21, and NJTV members in all membership-related inquires and comments, as well as programming questions and concerns. “Members often call in simply to talk about the reasons they love THIRTEEN and the things that inspired them to become members, or to update their account information.  I also specialize in assisting new members with THIRTEEN Passport activation inquiries,” Daniel says. Read on to learn about Daniel’s PBS LearningMedia fame, his favorite places in Queens, and more.

Daniel Houston

Daniel Houston

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

My background is almost exclusively customer service, viewer relations, and sales. I’ve worked as an escalations supervisor for DIRECTV and Comcast where I was responsible for dealing with disgruntled customers, convoluted account issues, and agent development. Most recently, I was employed with Verizon Business Class as a sales executive, where I was responsible for establishing relationships with prospective businesses in South Brooklyn.  I was so thrilled to interview with THIRTEEN after submitting my resume to an employment agency. One year later, I’m proud to say I’m a part of the THIRTEEN family.

The Member & Viewer Relations team receives viewer feedback that is often quite memorable. What is the most touching viewer comment you’ve received? The oddest or funniest one?

The most touching feedback I’ve received from a member was the time an elderly gentlemen called to remove his wife off his account after her death, and he stated that Downton Abbey aided him in bereaving his wife. The oddest interaction I’ve had probably was when a member called in to inquire about a Pledge item then asked me to come downstairs and bring it to him in the lobby.

You appeared in a PBS LearningMedia video called Ask an Engineer when you were a child. How did you become involved with the project, and what do you recall about the experience?

In elementary and middle school, I was really involved in theatre. I had done several plays for my school and for theatres and churches in my neighborhood, which lead me to an agent who knew a family friend. The agent cast me in the video, and the rest is PBS LearningMedia history! I remember going to the shoot and being extremely nervous and shy. But once I did a couple of takes, I got past my nerves and really enjoyed the experience. Who would have thought I would be working for THIRTEEN almost 20 years later?

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?

One of the most memorable experiences of my childhood was being featured in the PBS LearningMedia for “Ask an Engineer” video. Like many children, I grew up on shows like Sesame Street and Bill Nye the Science Guy. PBS definitely influenced me to think critically and made me more conscious about the world around me.

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

PBS News Hour, MetroFocus, and Black America since MLK.

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

I’ve recently moved to Ozone Park, Queens, and I’m still learning my way around, but right now Trader Joe’s is my bestie! Feel free to give some suggestions if you’re familiar with the area.

What book are you currently reading?

The Wisdom of Solomon (1611 KJV Holy Bible) and From Babylon to Timbuktu by Rudolf R. Windsor.

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

I really enjoy reading at Sunset Park in South Brooklyn and also at Bryant Park here in the city. I also love traveling to new places and trying new foods.


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