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People & Arts: TV

Christopher Farley - author of 'Before the Legend: The Rise of Bob Marley'

Christopher J. Farley, author of Before the Legend: The Rise of Bob Marley, and other books.

PBS Hires Journalist, Author Christopher J. Farley to Direct
its Arts Programming

By JAKE SOMMERS     June 13, 2023

SCORE ONE FOR THE SCRIBES. PBS has hired writer Christopher Farley as its new senior director of arts programming and development.

A former senior editor for The Wall Street Journal and music critic for Time magazine, Farley is the author of several books, including the novels My Favorite War (1996) and Kingston by Starlight (2005). Writing as C.J. Farley, he penned the children’s fantasy-adventure novel Game World (2014) and the young-adult novels Around Harvard Square (2019) and Zero O’Clock (2021).

Farley’s biography of the late singer Aaliyah, called Aaliyah: More Than a Woman (2013), was adapted into a movie for the Lifetime channel. His other books include the biography Before the Legend: The Rise of Bob Marley (2006) and The Blues, the latter of which he co-wrote and co-edited as a companion volume to Martin Scorsese’s 2003 PBS documentary series.

'Anything Goes' by Cole Porter on PBS

Sutton Foster and company in Cole Porter’s musical “Anything Goes,” from PBS’s “Great Performances” series. (Photo: Tristram Kenton)

A graduate of Harvard University and former editor of the Harvard Lampoon, Farley worked as an executive editor at Amazon’s Audible and served as a consulting producer on the Peabody-winning HBO documentary “Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown.”

According to a statement, Farley, 56, will oversee the development and production of “a multiplatform strategy focused on arts, performance, culture, and lifestyle content” for PBS. As its new senior director of arts programming and development, Farley says PBS will continue its “rich heritage of great arts and culture shows” and “bring stories to life in fresh ways, with innovative storytelling and new technology.”

And isn’t bringing “stories to life in fresh ways” what writers are supposed to do? Maybe there’s hope for us, yet.

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