James Blue is a seasoned and award-winning television production executive. He is currently senior content and special projects producer for PBS NewsHour. In that role he creates revenue-generating projects that extend the NewsHour brand across platforms. Recently, James oversaw the streaming of NewsHour’s inauguration coverage on Twitter – with 6.8 million unique views – the most viewed streaming event ever on the platform. James is currently developing a pilot from the successful Facebook-first series Brief But Spectacular. During the 2016 election, James led a joint project with Microsoft to digitize and make searchable all the televised presidential and vice presidential general election debates, oversaw joint coverage by PBS NewsHour and NPR of the political party nominating political conventions, produced Questions For President Obama a town hall meeting, and produced PBS NewsHour ’s first presidential Democratic primary debate. James previously served as Washington Bureau Chief and White House correspondent for ARISE News, a UK-based 24-hour news channel. James organized the channel’s Washington coverage, and oversaw the production and development of brand-defining broadcasts as the network’s director of special events including supervising the channel’s coverage of Nelson Mandela’s funeral in South Africa.
During the 2012 election year James executive produced BET Networks’ political broadcasts including exclusive interviews with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama and extensive coverage of Republican nominee Mitt Romney. The USC Annenberg School of Communications awarded the 2013 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism to James and the entire BET News team. James began at BET Networks overseeing several projects including First Lady Michelle Obama’s historic trip to South Africa and Botswana as executive producer of Public Affairs Media Group, Inc. (PAMG), a media production firm he founded in 2008. The firm’s clients included UNICEF, Johns Hopkins University Medical School, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, and the Abu Dhabi Environment Agency. His firm also contributed foreign news features to PBS NewsHour.
James is a graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Prior to starting his own firm he was a producer in the Koppel Group at the Discovery Channel. His debut documentary for Discovery, Iran – Most Dangerous Nation, won the 2006 national Emmy Award for best long-form program. James spent fourteen years as a producer for ABC News and NBC News, has reported extensively overseas, and was twice assigned to ABC News’ London bureau. During his final assignment for ABC News, he was the Nightline London editor.
Over the course of his career James has won every major broadcast journalism award including eight national Emmy Awards, two Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia Awards, three George Foster Peabody Awards, two Overseas Press Club Awards, and an NABJ Award for Overall Excellence. James was twice a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.
James currently serves on the board of trustees of the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), the Princeton Alumni Weekly, and the Princeton University Alumni Association. He is a member of the Overseas Press Club, the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. Married and the father of two children, James resides with his family in Baltimore and Craftsbury, Vermont.