Howard Blumenthal is an American television and new media producer, author, educator, and executive. Born and raised in New York City and nearby suburbs, he is the son of author and Concentration producer Norm Blumenthal, and the grandson of radio and music retailer Harry Blumenthal. He is best known as the co-creator and producer of the Peabody Award winning PBS series, Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego?
In his early years, Blumenthal worked as a publicist for Warner Brothers Records and as a music journalist for ROCK, Circus and Crawdaddy. He also worked on the production and research staff of ABC game shows, The Big Showdown and Money Maze.
In 1976, Blumenthal headed a team at Warner Brothers that led to the creation of cable channels MTV, Nickelodeon and The Movie Channel. In addition, Howard and his team developed the interactive game show How Do You Like Your Eggs? as well as a prototype for a 24-hour automated game channel, coordinating the efforts between Warner’s cable venture, QUBE and the electronic game maker Atari.
In the 1980s, Blumenthal, as head of marketing for Warner Audio Publishing, developed an interactive product line for business professional with Wiley Publishing. For Parker Brothers, Blumenthal developed a computer game to demonstrate cooperative thinking between different parts of the brain.
In the 1990s, Blumenthal worked with HarperCollins to develop an interactive childrens’ book and with Merriam-Webster, where he developed interactive activities between children and dictionaries. As Editor-inChief for CompuServe, Blumenthal created the first on-line service for children. In the late ‘90s, Howard served as executive-in-charge of CDNow, an online service that expanded from music delivery to include business development, public relations, and artist relations. From 1990 through 1994, Blumenthal served as project lead for the Peabody Award-winning PBS series, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? In 1997, Blumenthal and Dana Calderwood founded Glow in the Dark Productions, a television production company that created programs for The History Channel and Food Channel.
In 2002, with Ariel Schwartz, Blumenthal founded New Century Television, an early entry in Internet video. Since 2005, Blumenthal has served as CEO of Independence Media, an independent public television station in Philadelphia, which emphasizes five-minute learning programs covering a wide variety of topics and known as Channel 35, MiND TV. While serving as CEO of MiND, Blumenthal also served as Executive Director of the New Jersey Television Network and President of NJN Foundation.
With the FCC spectrum auction in sight, Blumenthal is working with Independence Media’s Board to define a future that is focused on the internet and new modes of distribution. One post-auction project currently in development is focused on adult learning with a children’s television sensibility.
In addition to being a television producer, interactive educational game-maker and on-line publisher, Blumenthal is also an author of many magazine and newspaper articles and more than twenty books on music, media, business and communication.
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