Neal Shapiro is an award-winning producer and media executive with a 25-year career spanning print, broadcast, cable and online media. As CEO of WNET, he oversees the operations of THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and NJTV, reaching an audience of more than 5 million monthly.
WNET produces such acclaimed PBS series as Great Performances, American Masters, Nature, Need to Know, Charlie Rose, and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. At the helm of WNET, Shapiro has nearly doubled arts and culture offerings, emphasized local programming and community engagement; set new fundraising records and inaugurated a new, state-of-the-art studio at Lincoln Center.
Shapiro has overseen the launch of a number of innovative local programs, including:
- American Graduate USA, an initiative to help students stay on the path to on-time high school graduation and future success.
- The Major Market Groups Arts Initiative, a pioneering effort to share arts and culture programming across the country.
- MetroFocus, a multi-platform initiative using television, web and mobile technology to bring local news and culture coverage to the tri-state region.
- NYC-ARTS, a weekly prime-time arts and culture program and its accompanying mobile app.
- NJTV, the new WNET-operated New Jersey public television station which replaced the state-financed NJN, which was to be shuttered for budgetary reasons.
NBC News: Before joining WNET in 2007, Shapiro was President of NBC News, leading its top-rated news programs, including Today, NBC Nightly News and Meet the Press, as well as Dateline NBC. Shapiro was executive producer of Dateline NBC from 1993 to 2001, which became a cornerstone of NBC’s primetime programming and the first primetime multi-night newsmagazine.
ABC News: Before working at NBC, Shapiro spent 13 years at ABC News, where he was a writer and producer for PrimeTime Live and World News Tonight. He served as broadcast producer of PrimeTime Live, where he wrote and produced over 30 stories, including breaking news, profiles, and investigative reports.
Shapiro has won numerous awards, including 32 Emmys, 31 Edward R. Murrow Awards and 3 Columbia DuPont awards.
He serves on the Boards of Tufts University, Gannett Company, the Investigative News Network (INN) and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Shapiro graduated magna cum laude from Tufts University with degrees in history and political science. He was the editor-in-chief of the Tufts Observer and he was a stringer for The New York Times and The Boston Globe.