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Paul Sparrow

Senior vice president/broadcasting

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Paul Sparrow
Paul Sparrow

Paul Sparrow is senior vice president/broadcasting for the Newseum. He is an Emmy Award-winning television producer with more than 20 years experience. He has produced more than 300 hours of prime-time programming, hundreds of syndicated shows, 10 documentaries and several prime-time specials. The Newseum Productions staff has received numerous national awards, including a national Emmy nomination, and two New York Film Festival Grand Prizes.

Sparrow came to Newseum in 1999 from the Discovery Channel, where he was the senior producer for the Eco-challenge miniseries. Previously, he was executive producer of a one-hour weekly magazine show on the Learning Channel.

Prior to joining the Learning Channel in 1996, Sparrow was the co-executive producer of “America’s Most Wanted,” which he joined in 1990 as a producer. For his efforts on behalf of crime victims, Sparrow received the U.S. Marshals Service’s director’s award, their highest civilian honor.

Sparrow has come a long way from his first job, where he was chased across a California beach by a three-ton bull elephant seal while working on a documentary in 1979. Sparrow’s work on that film reflects his broad range of experience. He recorded sound on location, edited the 16mm film, wrote the narration and composed the music. The film went on to win many awards. He then joined KPIX, the CBS affiliate in San Francisco, as an editor and was later promoted to segment producer. He has worked on award-winning documentaries and the first nationally syndicated magazine program, “Evening Magazine.” He also received an Emmy for a story about inner-city kids who experienced the wilderness for the first time.

When “USA TODAY on TV” was launched in 1988, Sparrow was hired as cover-story producer, the senior-segment producer position. He later was promoted to coordinating producer. He was responsible for managing a team of nearly 100 people in three cities and supervising all segment production.

Sparrow also produced and directed a number of prime-time specials, including the award-winning “Alcatraz — The Escape,” in which a former inmate revealed for the first time the secret details of the most famous escape in history.

Sparrow was born in 1954 and grew up in Bellport, N.Y. He is a graduate of the University of California–Santa Cruz and received a master’s of fine arts degree from Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College.

(updated 8/12/10)