Ken Simon directing Walter Cronkite during the taping of "Connecticut & the Sea."
It was a career highlight for one of them.
Ken Simon (Executive Producer) helped to invent the modern alternative newsweekly when he founded The Syracuse New Times. Simon led the weekly for its first 11 years as it gained regional prominence for alternative coverage of arts and entertainment, media, business and politics. The New Times published weekly for more than 50 years before joining thousands of other local newspapers that went down in the last few years. The Ithaca New Times, also founded by Simon, will celebrate its 50th year of publishing weekly in 2022. The two weeklies have received hundreds of awards for journalistic excellence.
Simon worked as an editorial and publishing consultant after selling the weeklies,. Clients included the National Consumer Cooperative Bank, the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, the Connecticut Film Commission and United Technologies Corporation. During that time he wrote a weekly newspaper series on a disastrous urban renewal project in his small hometown that won the Amos Tuck/Champion Award for Economic Understanding. He also authored "The New England Handcraft Catalog" (Globe Pequot Press), which featured New England artisans and their work. The book evolved from his involvement with his family's Down on the Farm craft center on their old farm property.
During this time, Simon started a marketing consultancy for professional non-profit theaters and public broadcasting. Clients included Tony Award winners Denver Center Theatre Company, Goodspeed Opera House, Hartford Stage Company. Long Wharf Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre. and Connecticut Public Broadcasting.
Since starting SimonPure Productions, Simon has produced, written and directed numerous broadcast documentaries. Programs include "Colt: Legend & Legacy," a biography of gun manufacturer Samuel Colt; "Left to Die," the story of the Navy’s WWII loss of the USS Juneau and its crew; "Schemitzun!," portraying the country’s biggest celebration of Native American music and dance; "USS Nautilus," on the first nuclear sub. and "The Mark of Uncas," a history of the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut.
Simon created nine documentaries in The Connecticut Experience series, a collaboration of Connecticut Public Television and Connecticut Humanities Council, which was recognized by the Federation of State Humanities Councils as the best humanities project in the nation. Programs included "Between Boston & New York," "Suburbia: The Good Life?," "Connecticut & the Sea," "The New Pequot," and "USS Nautilus." The latest program in that series is "Working the Land: The Story of Connecticut Agriculture."
He produced the concert specials "Carole King: A New Colour In The Tapestry," "A Tribute To Harry Chapin" and "The Eagles: Hell Freezes Over" for PBS. He also produced the PBS pledge specials "Finding Your Own True Love" and "Emotional Freedom Now!"
His programs have won many regional and national awards, including three Emmy awards, 18 Emmy nominations, the American Bar Association Silver Gavel for Legal Reporting.
Simon is a graduate of the Syracuse University Newhouse School of Public Communications with a B.S. in Film/Television/Radio.