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Dalton Delan

Dalton Delan (born August 5, 1954) is an American writer, editor, and television producer. His works with WETA, PBS and Sundance have won him numerous awards for his documentaries and primetime shows.[1] A number of his projects include working alongside Robert Redford. He is executive producer of In Performance at the White House;[2] bringing Bob Dylan[3] in 2010,[4] and Paul McCartney[5] to the White House in 2011, with Mick Jagger performing in 2012. So far, Delan has worked with presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton in making the In Performance at the White House possible. Delan is also an executive producer of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor,[6] presented by the Kennedy Center to notable names in humor and comedy. Delan is also Co-Creator and an Executive Producer of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Music, whose first recipient was Paul Simon, in a ceremony at the Warner Theater. He then arranged the relocation of the ceremony to the White House as part of the In Performance at the White House series on PBS, with subsequent honorees Stevie Wonder, Paul McCartney, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and Carole King in 2013.[7]

Dalton Delan
Dalton and Bob.JPG
Delan in rehearsals with Robert Redford on October 15, 2006 for the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, honoring Neil Simon.
Born (1954-08-05) August 5, 1954 (age 64)
Manhattan, New York, United States
OccupationWriter, editor, television producer
Delan and President Barack Obama at the "Red, White and Blues" concert at the White House on February 21, 2012


Early lifeEdit

Delan was born in Manhattan, New York, to attorney and stock broker Daniel Delan, and advertising executive and artist, Stephanie Lord Delan. He has one older brother, Douglas Scott Delan, who works in the educational field.

Delan attended Phillips Exeter Academy[8] alongside subsequent music, film, and television veterans Bobby Shriver, Miles Chapin, Jim Kramer and Benmont Tench (current keyboard player for Tom Petty).[9] Upon early graduation from Exeter, Delan attended Columbia University in New York, making the Dean’s List both semesters. As a sophomore, Delan was recruited to Princeton University[10] as part of an effort to strengthen the English Department student body. During his academic experience at Princeton University, Delan was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa society, and won the Junior English Prize, as well as the Senior Thesis Prize in English. He also was an active journalist, working on the papers of Henry David Thoreau,[11] as the editor of The Nassau Lit, and a writer and critic for The Daily Princetonian.[12] Delan graduated from Princeton University Summa Cum Laude in 1976.[13] Following college, Delan began his career as a staff writer and editor for Time-Life Books, first in Manhattan and then in the Washington D.C. area.[14]

Career in televisionEdit


Organization Award Title Year
National Capital/Chesapeake Bay Emmy Awards Outstanding Program Achievement[15] Worldtalk[16] 2003
Columbia Journalism School Dupont Columbia Award[17] Jihad[18] 2006-2007
Columbia Journalism School Dupont Columbia Award[17] Through Deaf Eyes[19] 2006-2007
Peabody Award Peabody Awards[20] Washington Week[21] 2008
The Emmy Award News and Documentary Emmy Awards, Outstanding Science, Technology and Nature Programming[22] The Mysterious Human Heart[23] 2009
The Emmy Award News and Documentary Emmy Awards, Outstanding Informational Programming[24] America at a Crossroads: Operation Homecoming[25] 2009
The Peabody Award Peabody Awards [26] Latino Americans 2013

ABC NewsEdit

Delan was given his start in television in 1979, working for ABC News in the ABC News Closeup documentary unit[27] under Pamela Hill.[28] There, he helped produce investigative reports with several big names in media, including a film featuring writer and historian William Manchester,[29] and hosts Hugh Downs,[30] Peter Jennings,[31] and Barbara Walters.[32] Titles that Delan worked on include After the Sexual Revolution[33] and Growing Old in America,[34] and Rain of Terror, termed by the Wall Street Journal in an editorial as "the single best piece of television journalism we've ever witnessed."[35]

HBO and Lifetime TelevisionEdit

In 1986, Delan was hired at HBO[36] to help build and serve as an executive producer of the America Undercover documentary series, as well as informational family programming specials. During his time working at HBO, Delan was known for recruiting and shepherding filmmakers such as Alan and Susan Raymond,[37] Jon Alpert[38] and Albert Maysles,[39] and working on programs featuring personalities such as Walter Cronkite[40] and Mary Tyler Moore.[41] Delan was hired by Lifetime Television in 1990[42] to develop a variety of series and specials ranging from game shows and documentaries, to live events and their first primetime nonfiction series, Confessions of Crime,[43] as well as working with acclaimed actors and actresses, such as Glenn Close[44] (on the documentary Broken Hearts, Broken Homes).

The Travel ChannelEdit

When Landmark Communications in Norfolk, Virginia, purchased The Travel Channel, Delan was hired in 1992 to help restart and grow the network, based in Atlanta.[45] In addition to bringing in personalities such as Charles Kuralt,[46] he also premiered the long-running series now known as Globe Trekker (originally titled Lonely Planet).


In 1996, the founder of the Sundance Film Festival, Robert Redford, approached Delan to be the Creative Director and Executive Vice President of the Sundance Channel[47] —a venture between Redford, Showtime, and Polygram.[27] Working directly with Redford and Festival director Geoffrey Gilmore, Delan produced live broadcasts from the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.[48] Delan also worked with filmmakers to develop original films (Marina Zenovich on Independent’s Day and Leslie McCleave on Meeting Marty), as well as prominent actors such as Jon Cryer, Susan Sarandon, and Meg Tilly.


In November 1998, Delan was hired as the Executive Vice President and Chief Programming Officer of WETA Washington D.C.,[49] the third largest producing station for PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) and the flagship public television station in the nation’s capital. At WETA, Delan works with Sharon Percy Rockefeller, wife of John Davison "Jay" Rockefeller IV, retired senior Senator from West Virginia.[50] Delan collaborated with Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of Robert Kennedy, on an adaptation of her book Speak Truth to Power, which was filmed onstage at the Kennedy Center, with readings by Sigourney Weaver, John Malkovich and a number of distinguished actors.[51] Delan serves as Executive in Charge of Production for WETA on the films of Ken Burns.[52] In 2003, Jerry Nachman, then New York Post editor and editor-in-chief of MSNBC, called Delan "the so-called father of reality TV."[53]

Replacing Ken BodeEdit

In 1999, Ken Bode's contract as moderator on the popular news discussion talk show, “Washington Week in Review” was not renewed.[54] Despite criticism from Bode and his supporters, Delan held his ground in the ensuing media firestorm, and temporarily brought back long-time moderator Paul Duke before naming journalist Gwen Ifill, who became the moderator.[55] This move would help create a newly successful Washington Week with Gwen Ifill.[56]

Personal lifeEdit

While working at ABC News in 1981, Delan met his future wife Stacey Lauren Delan (8/17/1958–present). They married on August 11, 1982. Together, they have two children, Dashiell (10/9/1988–present) and Jesse (9/7/1991–present).


In 2012, Delan wrote a children's book, Christmas Rose, illustrated by Yolanda Prinsloo.[57] Delan wrote the entry on "Bob Dylan cover songs" in "The Enlightened Bracketologist: The Final Four of Everything," edited by Mark Reiter and Richard Sandomir.[58] Also, Delan was the Editor of "Positively Prince Street" in 1979.[59]

Selected filmographyEdit

Title Year Network Credited as
Growing Old in America 1985 ABC Field Producer
Medal of Honor 2008 PBS Executive Producer
Mark Twain 2001 PBS Executive in Charge of Production
After the Sexual Revolution 1986 ABC Field Producer
People LIke Us: Social Class in America 2002 PBS Executive in Charge
Bioterror: Coping with a New Reality 2002 PBS Executive Producer
The Irish Gala 2001 PBS Executive Producer
The President's Own 2002 PBS Executive Producer
A Concert for America 2002 PBS Executive Producer
Echoes from the White House 2002 PBS Executive Producer
Yeltsin 2000 PBS Executive in Charge of Production
A Force More Powerful: A Century of Non-Violent Conflict 1999 PBS Executive Producer
There Once was a Town 2001 PBS Executive Producer
John Singer Sargent: Outside the Frame 2009 WETA Executive Producer
Speak Truth to Power 2001 PBS Executive Producer
The Americanos Concert 2002 PBS Executive in Charge
Independent's Day 1998 Sundance Channel Executive Producer
Discovered at Sundance 1997 PBS Executive Producer
Dangerous Propositions 1992 Lifetime Executive Producer
Jennifer's in Jail 1992 Lifetime Executive Producer
Shattered Lullabies 1992 Lifetime Executive Producer
Broken Hearts, Broken Homes 1993 Lifetime Executive Producer
How to Prevent a Heart Attack 1990 HBO Executive Producer
Child of Rage: A Storyof Abuse 1990 HBO Executive Producer
Buy Me That! A Kid's Survival Guide to TV Advertising 1990 HBO Executive Producer
Warning: Food May be Hazardous to Your Health 1990 HBO Producer
Horatio's Drive: America's First Road Trip 2004 PBS Executive in Charge of Production
In Performance at the White House 1999-2013 PBS Executive Producer
Jazz 2001 PBS Executive in Charge of Production
Motown Sound 2012 PBS Executive Producer
Tucker Carlson: Unfiltered 2005 PBS Executive Producer
Through Deaf Eyes 2007 PBS Executive Producer
Jihad 2001 PBS Executive Producer
Struggle for the Soul of Islam: Inside Indonesia 2007 PBS Executive Producer
Unforgivable Blackness: Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson 2005 PBS Executive in Charge of Production


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