Bob Chitester is chairman, president and CEO of Free To Choose Network, a 501-c-3 public foundation housing Free To Choose Media, an award-winning, global entertainment company which produces and distributes thought-provoking public television programs and series; izzit.org, an educational initiative that produces video-centric teaching units for a large network of K-College educators; and Free To Choose Press publishing company.
In 1977, Chitester and economist Milton Friedman undertook a film project which became Free To Choose, an award-winning PBS television series. The international best-selling book, Free To Choose, was based on the series and enjoyed sales in the millions. More than 30 years later, the series and book are still in wide use and have been profoundly influential.
Chitester has more than 50 years of experience in television management and program development. Working with TCI in Denver, CO, Chitester created Issues USA, a nightly half-hour program, whose alumni includes: David Asman, Eric Burns and Douglas Kennedy, currently regulars on the Fox Cable News Channel, Jonathan Karl of ABC News, and Richard Lowry, editor of National Review.
More than 500 projects have been launched through Free To Choose Media under his orchestration, ranging from documentaries, cable series and home video programs, many of whiach can be viewed on www.FreeToChoose.TV. He is juggling a number of media projects in various stages of production, including Is America in Retreat?, a series on the role of the military in a free society, based on Bret Stephens’ America in Retreat; Work & Happiness: The Human Cost of Welfare; Trailblazers: The New Zealand Story; The Constitution and the Rule of Law with Justice Douglas Ginsburg; a biography of Thomas Sowell; and Andrew Coulson’s series, School, Inc., in partnership with New York’s WNET, as the presenting television station.
Tom Skinner is executive producer of all Free To Choose Media productions.
Tom is an award-winning television and film executive producer, most notably of the National Geographic specials and Planet Earth. He is an experienced innovator and administrator with a solid academic background, and extensive national and international production credentials in public and commercial television.
From 1970 through 1993, Tom Skinner served as vice-president, executive vice-president, and chief operating officer of QED Communications, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 1993, he left to pursue opportunities in independent production for A&E, Discovery and Turner Broadcasting. From 1994 through 1999, he was vice president for programming at Resolution Productions.
Prior to his tenure at QED Communications, Tom was assistant manager at WITF-TV in Hershey, Pennsylvania and associate professor of Radio and Television and executive producer at San Diego State University. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including: four national Emmy Awards, three George Foster Peabody Awards, and a Columbia/DuPont Award; and was director of the Academy Award-winning film Journey Into Self.
Tom holds a BA degree in Speech and Education from the State University of New York, Fredonia; an MA in Communications from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in Communications and Theatre from the University of Michigan.
Tom is married to Marlis Mann of Leland, Michigan; he has 3 children and 7 grandchildren.