• Erica Branch-Ridley Sesame Workshop

    Recipient of Digital Media Provider Executive Award

    Erica Branch-Ridley
    VP, Executive in Charge of Production Sesame Learning,
    Sesame Workshop

    Erica Branch-Ridley is the two-time Emmy award winning Vice President and Executive in Charge of Production of Sesame Learning at Sesame Workshop.  As part of the Workshop’s Sesame Learning initiative, Erica focuses on the intersection of emerging technologies and educational impact in delivering Sesame Street content into pre-school environments.

    Erica joined Sesame Workshop in 2008 as the Broadband Supervising Producer overseeing all creative direction, educational content development, and broadband video production of The Electric Company website. In addition, she managed all digital media aspects of the property including mobile video, iPhone apps, research prototypes, content syndication, and console game development.  In 2010, Erica won a Daytime Emmy Award for The Electric Company website in the “New Approaches – Children’s Entertainment” category.  In the spring of 2011, she partnered with the Executive Producer of The Electric Company television show to create the successful transmedia storytelling experience “The Adventures of The Electric Company on Prankster Planet.”  The online part of the experience went on to more than triple the traffic to The Electric Company website.

    Before The Electric Company, Erica served as the Executive Producer and Senior Director of TV Land Digital where she also oversaw the creative direction and production for both the TV Land and Nick-at-Nite websites.  In addition, she was in-charge of the development and production of broadband video, which included content for the streaming video player, mobile platforms, content syndication and podcasting.  She also worked in conjunction with ad sales and marketing on the development of online cross-promotional ad sales projects.

    Erica won numerous awards for her work at TV Land including a Primetime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Interactive Television” for her work as Executive Producer for the 2005 TV Land Awards Online application.  She was also twice nominated for a NATAS Technology Emmy Award in the same category.

    Prior to her position with TV Land, Erica was the Senior Producer for Nickelodeon Online.  Erica oversaw the production for Nickjr.com.  Erica was in charge of coordinating TV, web development, design and technology to extend the Nick Jr. brand and franchises online. Erica has nurtured many notable online properties for Nick Jr. from Blue’s Clue’s and Bob the Builder to Little Bill and Oswald. She was the lead producer of the first ever successful TV / web convergent effort for preschoolers with Dora the Explorer. The Dora online launch went on to be voted “best use of online” by Kidscreen Magazine in 2000. She then went on to be one of the lead producer’s in Nick Jr.’s re-launch and transition into a parenting website.

    Before her work with Nickelodeon, Erica worked as the Education Content Producer for The AT&T Learning Network where she was responsible for providing online support and resources to teachers and communities.  In particular, she managed the web-based teacher support website and the “Ask the Learning Network” online mentoring program for K-12 teachers.

    Previous to working in the internet industry, Erica spent almost 10 years in the television industry working for such companies as Black Entertainment Television where she created and produced a children’s television show that was conceived around the concept of multi-cultural children’s books and the African tradition of storytelling called STORYPORCH. It featured celebrities including Maya Angelou, Bill Cosby, Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee.  STORYPORCH won a National Education Association Award, high recognition from TV Guide and Child Magazine, and received two nominations for the NAACP Image Award. Erica worked for 6 years at CBS-NEWS on the award-winning show 48 Hours where she started out as the assistant to Dan Rather and future CBS-NEWS president Andrew Heyward.  Erica got her start in television at WNBC-TV where worked on many public affairs local shows including Positively Black and Visiones and on NBC network specials including the annual Christmas in Rockefeller.

    As a dedicated professional, Erica’s resilience goes way beyond her profession. It is deeply rooted in who she is as a person.  In 2006, Essence Magazine did a feature article on her as an ordinary woman who beat the extraordinary odds of a serious health condition and emerged as a leader and a great example of strength, courage and perseverance. She frequently is asked to be a guest speaker to not only speak on children and technology but to speak to young people, especially girls, about achieving their dreams and persevering in the face of adversity.

    In 2007 Erica was one of 30 people chosen by the National Association of Multi-ethnicity in Cable to participate in their prestigious Executive Leadership Development Program at the Anderson School of Management at UCLA that she completed in May 2008.  Erica has completed graduate coursework at Seton Hall University in Elementary Education and Technology and holds a B.S. degree from Syracuse University from the esteemed S.I. Newhouse School in Speech Communications and Television Production and was appointed to their Alumni Board of Directors.

    Erica resides in West Orange, New Jersey with her husband Jon and is proud mom of her focus group of three, daughter Nya, and twins Olivia and Jonathan.