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January 20, 2017

Meet Whitney McGowan

As Associate Director of Social Media, IEG, Whitney McGowan oversees the social media strategy for WNET and its programs, from Great Performances to American Masters and beyond. “I also manage the day-to-day content on all our national social media pages,” Whitney says. Read on to learn about the social media plan for The Talk – Race in America, Whitney’s adventures at the recent Television Critics Association Press Tour, and more.

Whitney McGowanYou come to us after two years at AMC Networks. Prior to that, you worked in the IEG Department here at WNET. What brought you back to public media?

Really it came down to our amazing content. I’ve always been so proud of the work we do here, and while I loved what I was doing at AMCN, it just wasn’t the same. Also, I have such lasting relationships with my WNET family. It felt like coming home.

The social media plan for The Talk – Race in America launched earlier this week. What is the goal of the campaign, and what are some of its components?

The campaign revolves around the topics addressed in the film: community policing, representations in media, talking to children about race, and more. We want to facilitate a cross-platform discussion around these topics on social media with three call-to-actions: Talk, Share, and Ask. We want the film to be the starting point for a productive, balanced, and honest discussion about the relationship between law enforcement and the communities they serve.

You just returned from the Television Critics Association Press Tour (TCA) in Los Angeles. What was your role at Press Tour, and do you have any favorite moments to share?

I go to Press Tour to facilitate social media content for our national shows featured during the tour and capture real time social media with our talent. My favorite part of the January 2017 tour was producing a Facebook Live shoot with Spy Orangutan and the other the animatronic spy creatures featured in the Nature miniseries Spy in the Wild. It was so much fun, although those robots can be such divas!

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?

I always used to say Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s Finding Your Roots was the program that has inspired me the most, but then I watched the new American Masters film, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise, which premieres on February 21. That film blew me away in so many ways. It’s also the driving force behind #InspiringWomanPBS, a year-long online campaign celebrating the powerful, creative, and innovative women in our lives. People can visit the American Masters website to share stories of inspiring women in their lives and learn about the fascinating women who have been profiled in the series.

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

I just moved to Crown Heights from Harlem and I love it! So far, I haven’t found a super favorite place, but I love the park next to my apartment.

What book are you currently reading?

Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad.

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

Not really. Would someone like to suggest a hobby for me?



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