Currently serving as SVP of programming, Coleman has overseen the company’s program development and acquisitions for more than two decades. Among the notable shows he has nurtured is the nationally syndicated public affairs program Matter of Fact with Soledad O’Brien.
Hearst Television, a division of the privately held Hearst Corp., owns and operates 33 television and two radio stations in 26 markets across 39 states. Its station portfolio reaches more than 22 million U.S. TV households.
“Emerson’s impactful voice and leadership have been cultural cornerstones of Hearst Television for nearly a quarter century,” Hearst Television President Jordan Wertlieb. “Throughout his career he has provided invaluable and thoughtful counsel to many executives and on-air talent in the industry, putting an indelible mark on non-fiction programming and countless careers. He is one of the finest gentlemen I have ever met, exuding grace and class in every way.”
Coleman arrived at Hearst Television’s New York headquarters in 1999, taking the role of VP of programming. He had previously been VP and director of broadcast operations at Hearst-owned WBAL-TV in Baltimore. At WBAL, he developed nationally syndicated series The Remarkable Journey. The news and information show was ultimately distributed by NBC and sold to UPN.
Before his run at WBAL, Coleman oversaw multiple international TV projects and held senior production roles at WBZ-TV in Boston and WJZ-TV in Baltimore.
A key element of Coleman’s professional legacy is helping to spearhead production by local station owners, an alternative to the costly, hit-or-miss model of acquiring talk or game shows. In 2000, Hearst joined with NBC stations and Gannett Broadcasting (now Tegna) to lead a programming and distribution consortium that launched shows hosted by Jane Pauley and John Walsh, among others. Hearst also formed a joint venture with Mark Burnett, One Three Media, and Coleman served on its greenlight committee.
In 2017, Coleman played a key role in Hearst’s acquisition of Litton Entertainment, a producer and distributor of programs to 1,000 U.S. television stations and outlets in 97 countries.
In more than two decades at Hearst, Coleman was involved in advancing the television careers of a number of personalities. Among them are Kelly Clarkson, Steve Harvey, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Tamron Hall, Carlos Watson, Ellen DeGeneres and Meredith Vieira.
“When you watch the credits at the end of a presentation, they don’t always tell the whole story,” Coleman said. “I am very proud to have contributed to a company that has made possible impressive projects such as the Song for New Orleans and Seven Days that Changed New Orleans specials following Hurricane Katrina, and the Matter of Fact Listening Tour digital series in response to the massive protests demanding justice for George Floyd. Those monumental undertakings represent the kinds of initiatives that have afforded me the opportunity to elevate important voices, share untold stories and pass on what I have learned to another generation.”
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