After Episcopal

James Blue ’87 Takes the Helm of Smithsonian Channel

Emmy Award-winning journalist and television executive James Blue ’87 has been named head of the Smithsonian Channel and will direct an expansion and diversification of its content.

Smithsonian Channel, which is part of the MTV Entertainment Group, has a mission to draw on the Smithsonian’s vast resources to engage, inspire, and educate.

“Smithsonian is a world-class brand rich with treasures from our shared American experience,” said Chris McCarthy, head of the group, in a statement from the company. “James is an exceptionally talented executive and incredible storyteller who will bring those iconic treasures and experiences to life across all of our platforms.”

Blue, who also will serve as a senior vice president of MTV Entertainment, will oversee all factual unscripted projects for the MTV Entertainment brands, which include MTV, Comedy Central, Paramount Network, Smithsonian Channel, Pop TV, CMT, VH1, TV Land, and Logo.

“MTV Entertainment has an extraordinarily talented team, and I am thrilled to be joining them,” said Blue in the statement. “I look forward to leveraging my expertise and experience to help shape and implement MTV Entertainment’s strategic vision for Smithsonian and other news, factual and non-fiction content across, and even beyond, the Group’s platforms.”

Blue comes to Smithsonian Channel from PBS NewsHour, where he managed specials on the show, helped lead production of the daily broadcast, and handled special reporting initiatives such as Searching for Justice, Race Matters, and Chasing the Dream.

In a journalism career that dates to his 1991 graduation from Princeton, Blue has earned eight national Emmy awards, two Columbia-DuPont Awards, and two George Foster Peabody Awards. He has worked for NBC News and Discovery Channel, among others, and spent 12 years as an executive producer of “Nightline” at ABC News.