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Sesame Workshop logo 2018

Sesame Workshop — formerly Children's Television Workshop (CTW) — is the producer and sole proprietor of Sesame Street.

CTW was founded in 1968 by Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett as a non-profit corporation whose original purpose was to develop and produced an educational television show for preschool children, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Michael Davis writes in Street Gang that "Regal twin portraits of Morrisett and Joan Cooney adorn the entranceway to the Workshop's corporate offices at One Lincoln Plaza...", underscoring Morrisett's importance as co-founder of the Workshop.

The first show that CTW produced was Sesame Street, which proved hugely successful. The Carnegie Corporation, the US Office of Education, and Ford Foundation provided the initial funding for the project. A few years after the success of Sesame Street, The Jim Henson Company worked with the company to develop another series, The Affect Show. However, The Affect Show didn't get past planning stages.

In 1999, the Children's Television Workshop partnered with Nickelodeon (a division of MTV Networks owned by Viacom) to launch a new kids' channel called Noggin. The channel reran many shows from the Workshop's archive library. On August 7, 2002, Sesame Workshop sold its 50% stake in Noggin to Viacom, but it continued to produce new content for the channel.[1] Shows produced by Sesame Workshop for Noggin include Play with Me Sesame, Out There, Sponk! and The Upside Down Show.

In 2000, the Children's Television Workshop changed its name to Sesame Workshop; by then, the company had expanded beyond television.[2] In concert with this name change, Sesame Workshop began to eliminate all references to CTW, such as cutting out the references in Sesame Street's closing credits and replacing CTW logos. In December of the same year, The Jim Henson Company (then under ownership of the German media firm, EM.TV) sold the rights to the Sesame Street Muppets for $180 million, giving Sesame Workshop full ownership of the Sesame Street Muppets.[3] Prior to the sale, The Jim Henson Company had owned the rights to the characters, but split revenue generated from merchandise with Sesame Workshop. When EM.TV put The Jim Henson Company up for sale in 2003, Sesame Workshop was one of the bidders for the property with Classic Media via bankrolled funds provided by Sony Pictures Entertainment.[4]

In 2005, Sesame Workshop, along with Comcast, PBS, and HIT Entertainment, launched a new cable channel called PBS Kids Sprout. Sesame Workshop divested its stake in Sprout in December 2012.

Sesame Workshop runs a critically acclaimed website, In late 2007, the organization launched the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop, "to catalyze and support research, innovation and investment in digital media technologies to advance children's learning."


  • Joan Ganz Cooney, Co-Founder & Chairman of the Executive Committee
  • Lloyd Morrisett, Co-Founder & Chairman Emeritus of the Board Sesame Workshop
  • Sherrie Westin, President and CEO
  • Daryl Mintz, Chief Financial Officer
  • Joseph Salvo, Vice President and General Counsel
  • Brown Johnson, Vice President and Creative Director
  • Stephanie Longardo, Vice President of Production Management
  • Tanya Haider, Vice President of Strategy, Research and Ventures
  • Rosemarie Truglio, Vice President of Curriculum and Content
  • Jeanette Betancourt, Vice President of Outreach and Educational Practices
  • Jennifer Kotler Clarke, Vice President of Content Research and Evaluation
  • Diana Lee, Vice President of Human Resources


  • Joan Ganz Cooney, President and CEO (until 1990), co-founder
  • David Britt, President and CEO (1990-2000)
  • Gary Knell, President and CEO (2000-2011)
  • H. Melvin Ming, President and CEO (2011-2015)
  • Jeffrey Dunn, President and CEO (2014-2021)[5]
  • Steve Youngwood, CEO (2021-2024)[6]


In addition to Sesame Street, CTW/Sesame Workshop has developed several other properties:

Company logos[]

Annual reports[]


External links[]