On the Stage, Behind the Scenes and In the Audience
Robert S. Isaacson
Robert S. Isaacson has enjoyed 40 years in New York City television, first with Metromedia TV, then in the John V. Lindsay administration, and for the past 33 years at The City University of New York (CUNY). In 1992, he was appointed Executive Director of CUNY TV, where he continues to serve today. CUNY TV is the nation’s largest non-commercial educational cable television channel, reaching nearly 1.7 million households citywide, with original programming archived online for a national audience at www.cuny.tv. Over the past 7 years, CUNY TV has won 9 New York Emmys and a total of 34 New York Emmy nominations. Mr. Isaacson established CUNY TV as a place where New York City non-profit arts and cultural organizations collaborate with the station in co-productions that inform and entertain viewers. The station presents a rich array of educational, cultural and public affairs programming 24 hours a day year-round, including Science & U!, Nueva York, City Talk, BrianLehrer.tv, Theater Talk, City Cinematheque, The Stoler Report,Independent Sources, and TimesTalks among them. The station has co-produced and presented ATW’s “Working in the Theatre” for more than 30 years. In addition, Bill Moyers’ new public television series, Moyers and Company, is produced at CUNY TV. In 2009, Mr. Isaacson transformed the station, located at the CUNY Graduate Center at Fifth Avenue and 34th Street, into a full-capacity HD studio and post-production facility that includes a six-camera mobile production truck. He is also responsible for the design of the technical infrastructure, as well as the operation and staffing, of the television and radio studios at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism – cited as one of the top five journalism schools in the country – in the historic New York Herald Tribunebuilding on West 40th Street. At his suggestion and with his technical collaboration, CUNY TV and WNYE/Channel 25, which operates within The Office of the Mayor of The City of New York, will merge in early 2013. As a result, CUNY TV will have its own digital broadcast channel (Channel 25.3) and HD radio station, enabling it to more than quadruple its audience, reaching for the first time beyond the city boroughs to 7.4 million households in the tri-state area. Mr. Isaacson is the president of The CUNY TV Foundation, and serves on the Board of the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS). He is a television consultant to The New York Times, and is executive producer of Theater Talk, the nationally distributed weekly public television series about Broadway, and the upcoming 13-part Irish Writers in America, also for national distribution. In 2001, he was honored by the French Government with a Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his contribution to French television, for bringing Bernard Pivot to an American audience and creating the Emmy-nominated French cultural series Canape on CUNY TV and national syndication.