As director of development at Terra Nova Films, Ed Menaker oversees the development of new projects and the formation of alliances and partnerships that can help to underwrite production and implementation. Menaker’s background includes 12 years in National Program Development at WTTW/PBS Chicago. Among the major projects in which he was involved at WTTW was the development of the prime-time PBS science-adventure series, The New Explorers with Bill Kurtis. The series carried with it a national educational initiative done in partnership with Argonne National Laboratory that reached more than one million students, teachers and educators. The TV series and its educational component were honored in 1995 with the Peabody.
Before joining Terra Nova in 2003, Menaker worked for three years at WYCC/PBS Chicago, where he served as a strategic planner, development specialist and general manager. During this time he led the station into its digital transformation and through an unprecedented period of growth that saw major underwriting from the Illinois Humanities Council and the Chicago Community Trust and the development of new programming like the BBC News, Electronic Field Trips from the Field Museum, Illinois state championship high school sports, and the first major show on books in Chicago in more than 30 years, Cover To Cover With Mara Tapp.
As a writer, Menaker served as a columnist for the Cincinnati Post and as a contributing correspondent for publications like The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune. As an independent producer, Menaker completed award-winning national documentaries for major broadcast companies like Turner Broadcasting and PBS. Menaker has also taught as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.
Biographies are provided to us by the speakers and are only edited for clarity.