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Wilson Surratt
Wilson Surratt
Adjunct Professor


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Wilson Surratt is the Executive Producer of The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch on CNBC. Under his supervision, the Big Idea has surged in the ratings and in recognition among business titans, entrepreneurs and anyone looking to live their American Dream. As Donny often says, the American Dream is doing what you love and making millions at it. Every weeknight at 10p/1a, Donny shows you how to turn your Big Idea into a reality.

Before coming to CNBC, Wil produced flagship shows for CNN. As Executive Producer of NewsNight and Anderson Cooper 360, Wil was the primary producer for the Katrina disaster coverage, for which the network won the distinguished Peabody Award. CNN also won the DuPont-Columbia Award for its coverage of the South Asia Tsunami disaster. With Wil at the helm of NewsNight, the program had some of its highest critical and rated moments, twice rating as the #1 show in cable news during post-Katrina coverage. NewsNight also received accolades for its coverage of the death of Pope John Paul II and the Atlanta Courthouse Shooting. Surratt enjoyed similar success as EP of American Morning, where he directed coverage of many important stories, including the 2004 Presidential election. Surratt originally joined CNN to produce American Morning with Paula Zahn, a program that played a crucial role in the network’s coverage of the second Gulf War. It was that show that broadcast the fall of Baghdad in April 2003. Following that success, Zahn moved onto a primetime program, and Surratt welcomed Soledad O’Brien to American Morning.

Surratt came to CNN from WPIX-TV in New York where he created and executive produced the Emmy-winning WB11 Morning News. Before coming to New York, he was in Los Angeles at KTLA-TV, where he worked as a senior producer for several shows, including the KTLA Morning News, News at Ten and the station’s entertainment and variety talk show, The Live Show. He began his career at WRAL-TV in Raleigh, N.C., where he got started as a production assistant, and was promoted to writer and producer.

Surratt has been honored several times for his production work, including the aforementioned Peabody, DuPont, Emmy, and a Golden Mike Award for his work with KTLA’s coverage of the 1999 shooting at a Los Angeles Jewish Community Center.

Surratt earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University where he majored in English and religion. He also holds a master’s degree in television from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He currently lives in the New York City area with his wife, Jodi, and their two daughters, Kaitlyn and Brooke.