Jul 23, 2012

"Frontline's" Fanning promotes successor Aronson

Raney Aronson, series senior producer for Frontline, has been promoted to deputy executive producer. The move is widely seen as an indication that she will succeed David Fanning as executive producer of the PBS's investigative news centerpiece.

Aronson has produced for Frontline since 2001, and joined its staff in 2007. Previously she had worked at ABC News. She also was the 2005 recipient of the prestigious Peter S. McGhee Fellowship from WGBH, named for its longtime v.p. of national programming. Here's her bio.

Here is the memo Fanning sent to staffers on Saturday (July 21) announcing the promotion:

"I am pleased to announce that Raney Aronson has agreed to take on the title of Deputy Executive Producer of Frontline. In many ways this is less a promotion than a confirmation of the job she has been doing with such success since she joined the Frontline staff five years ago.

"As Series Senior Producer she actively took on managing the widest array of editorial and structural tasks, from supervising films and getting deep into the editing room to shape their style and content; to wrestling with tough investigative journalism challenges (and tough individuals!); as well as managing the core staff and the series' relationship with our colleagues at PBS, CPB and WGBH.

"As everyone knows who has worked with her, she has done it all with intelligence, grace and humor, and shown herself to be an inspiring leader, and a terrific collaborator. In fact, at a time when Frontline has increasingly come to rely on complex partnerships with other journalistic entities and broadcasters, Raney has been the driving force behind making those work, and invariably the one to keep them on track. She has been indefatigable at keeping up with an increased workload, as the series took on a year-round schedule.

"This is all the more gratifying because Raney has come to this position of leadership after a career as a Frontline producer in her own right, producing significant films like "The Jesus Factor," "The Soldier's Heart," "The Last Abortion Clinic" and "News War: Secrets, Sources and Spin." Her fuller bio gives a sense of her wide range of interests — and how her career as a journalist took a path from working for a newspaper in Taiwan, to Columbia's Graduate School of Journalism, the Wall Street Journal, and ABC News, before her passion for long-form documentary brought her to Frontline.

"The title Deputy means someone appointed and empowered to act on behalf of another. It's my pleasure to have her agree to do so on my behalf, and share the responsibility and privilege of guiding Frontline's present and future." (Photo: Frontline.)

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