Meet the Producers
The executive producers of Lancit Digital Media’s BLUES ON BEALE are like the cast of the old Mary Tyler Moore show! We adore and respect each other personally and professionally. We’ve worked together for 4 decades. We could be on the cover of Teamwork Magazine.... if there was such a magazine. We exemplify teamwork.
As a team, we love producing video and we love music.
Our first project together was the Lancit produced PBS TV series Reading Rainbow with LeVar Burton. The four of us, Cecily Larry, Lynne and Steve were there from the beginning -- creating, producing, directing, editing, whatever it took. It was a joyous experience which earned multiple Awards and a multitude of fervent fans.
Together we have a zealousness and spirit that ignited when the opportunity to produce BLUES ON BEALE presented itself. When the Blues Foundation and Carnegie Mellon gave us the thumbs up, we got busy! BLUES ON BEALE is a project of passion, respect and a love for music and each other.
We believe in the music and the talented Blues artists that make BLUES ON BEALE sing. It’s magic.
Cecily is a creator, producer and writer of some of the most honored series on TV including READING RAINBOW, THE PUZZLE PLACE, RAMONA (based on the best selling books by Beverly Cleary), and BACKYARD SAFARI, all for PBS. Recognition for her projects include 17 EMMY Awards, A PEABODY Award, multiple HUGOS, CINE GOLD EAGLES, and 200 broadcast awards.
Funders for her programs include SONY, FISHER PRICE, KELLOGG’S, BARNES AND NOBLE, NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS, FORD FOUNDATION, CARNEGIE FOUNDATION and NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES.
National Emmy Award winning Producer/Director Larry Lancit has over 40 years experience in the media business. Lancit is the founder of Lancit Media Entertainment in 1979, a successful independent production company in New York City for over 20 years during which he served as the President and COO.
Lancit Media was best known for creating and producing READING RAINBOW, winner of 16 National Daytime EMMY Awards over an 18-year period, including 7 Emmys for Best Children’s Series, and Larry Lancit’s own recognition for Best Director. Lancit Media was also responsible for other notable network series, including The PUZZLE PLACE (PBS), OUTWARD BOUND (DISCOVERY), RAMONA (based on the best selling books by Beverly Cleary), THE SADDLE CLUB and THE ZACK FILES (Fox Family). Lancit’s work has been recognized by over 200 broadcast awards including numerous EMMIES, A Peabody Award, Hugo, Prix Jeunesse International, numerous Monitor Awards and many Cine Golden Eagles.
Today, Larry and his partner Cecily Lancit own and operate Lancit Digital Media in Naples, Florida. LDM specializes in multi-platform production of video for the Broadcast, Corporate and Social Media markets. Additionally, LDM owns and operates the Paradise Coast TV Visitor Channel, seen in 30 hotels in SW Florida reaching over 4500 guest rooms. PCTV is a dedicated channel in the hotels helping visitors decide ‘Where to Go, What to Do, and Where to Dine’ on Florida’s Paradise Coast.
Larry Lancit was born in Newark, New Jersey, and attended the University of Florida in Gainesville. He has a Bachelor Degree in Journalism and Communications. Lancit served on the University of Florida College of Journalism and Telecommunications Advisory Board from 1997-2000, and was made an Alumnus of Distinction in 1992.
Lynne Brenner Ganek
Lynne Brenner Ganek, BS, M.ED., University of Pittsburgh, is an Educator, Author, Television Producer and Media Consultant. Through her work as Head Writer with WNET/Thirteen, she innovated some of the nation’s first Media Literacy Curriculum.
Her client roster has included CBS, A&E, Discovery Communications, Inc., CBS/Fox Home Video, Twentieth Century Fox TV, Lorimar, Scholastic Books, Shanghai TV, and Pearson/Prentice Hall. Ganek was Associate Producer on the original production team for the multi-EMMY Award winning PBS READING RAINBOW with Levar Burton. She is on the American University School of Education’s Advisory Board and is an Adjunct Professor. For over a decade she has supported and helps manage the Ganek Family/American University Student-Teacher Mini-Grant Project for Innovation in Education.
Lynne has served on boards of WDCA-TV, Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship College of Business and Management at the University of Maryland, The Daytime Emmy Awards, and Action For Children's Television.
LeVar Burton, Executive Producer/Host launched his acting career while still a student at the University of Southern California. Cast in the groundbreaking role of Kunta Kinte in the landmark television series “Roots”, at 19 he found himself on the cover of Time Magazine. A seemingly impossible act to follow, Burton managed to do so in dramatic fashion, achieving further global acclaim as Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge in the iconic “Star Trek: The Next Generation” television series and in feature films. However, it has been his role as host and executive producer of the beloved PBS children’s series “Reading Rainbow” of which he is most proud. Airing from 1983 to 2009, it was not only one of the longest-running children’s television shows in history, but also one of the most acclaimed,, earning over 200 awards including multiple Emmys and a Peabody.
Always committed to improving children’s education through innovative uses of storytelling, in 2012 Burton launched RRKidz, a digital educational publishing company. In a deal that ended in August 2017, his company held the global rights to the Reading Rainbow brand through a partnership with series creator WNED/Buffalo. That partnership resulted in a successful re-launch of the Reading Rainbow brand for a new generation of children. SKYBRARY is a digital reading service filled with over 500 children’s fiction and non-fiction books, more than 150 newly-produced video field trips and new content added every week. With over 16 million books and videos enjoyed since launch, SKYBRARY is a top selling educational app on iTunes and recipient of numerous awards.
In 2014 Burton turned to Kickstarter to bring Reading Rainbow to “Every Child Everywhere” especially to classrooms in need. The campaign met its 35 –day goal of raising $1 million in less than eleven hours, and set a crowdfunding record at the time with over 105,000 backers and a final tally of over $6.4 million. With these funds, in May of 2015 Burton and RRKidz brought the SKYBRARY product to the web, accessible to 83% of American households. Then in January of 2016, the education-specific SKYBRARY SCHOOL rolled out for teachers and students, fulfilling the promise of the crowd-funding project.
Now in his fourth decade in the industry, LeVar continues to exercise his vigorous passion for storytelling with his new podcast LEVAR BURTON READS, where in each episode he chooses a favorite piece of short fiction and performs it. The enormously successful podcast is in its third season and LeVar is currently touring the country with a live version of the podcast. LEVAR BURTON READS: LIVE! Is coming to a theater near you.
As the honored recipient of 13 Emmy Awards, a Grammy, and five NAACP Awards,Burton has demonstrated in his career that he can do it all—acting, directing, producing, writing and speaking. He is often invited as a keynote speaker at leading education and technology events, most recently speaking at NASA, ISTE, The National Education Association, FAST COMPANY’s Innovation Series and many more.
With millions of fans throughout the world, Burton continues his mission to inspire, educate and entertain.
Stephanie Cozart Burton
Stephanie Cozart Burton is a professional makeup artist specializing in the entertainment industry. For the past 30 years her main focus has been in the genre of television and film with her core clientele of celebrity actors. Stephanie built her brand in Hollywood as a multi faceted artist, trained in all methods of creating transformation including character work, prosthetics, print, runway and stage. Her passion for all things beautiful steered her path toward becoming a skin care specialist and color theory pro.
Educated at Indiana University and Joe Blasco Makeup Center, Stephanie originally began on a track as a political science major with the intention of segueing into law school. When her artistic side became the dominant voice, she transferred out of I.U, moved to Los Angeles and redirected her study toward that siren’s call. While taking a day job at the LA Times and then the Long Beach Independent Press Telegram writing ad copy, she went to school at night to train as a makeup artist. A chance opportunity to assist a friend on a show launched her career and she rose from assistant to department head in one season.
Stephanie’s many credits run the gamut from the iconic sketch comedy “In Living Color” to the trendy talk show on CBS “The Talk” where she was a personal makeup artist to Aisha Tyler for 6 seasons, and where after many nominations, she finally won her first Emmy award. Stephanie was also nominated for The Makeup Artists and Hair Stylists Award by her professional Union IATSE Local 706.
While on hiatus from her last show, she stepped in as “temporary” assistant to her husband LeVar Burton. He is best known for his work in the world not only as an actor-producer-director but also as an advocate for children’s literacy and all things relating to reading and storytelling. During this time, Stephanie began to seamlessly fold into the company, discovering a new passion with LeVar Burton Media as a contributing producer for several projects on their platform. With many new ways to express herself creatively, writing, producing and developing have taken a front and center focus.
Stephanie is currently involved in creating content, developing new and innovative shows with LVB Media as well as supervising merchandise creation for the critically acclaimed LeVar Burton Reads, a national touring podcast now in it’s 4th season.
Sherri G. Sneed
Sherri G. Sneed, known as the director of possibilities is a universe of energy unto herself. Where you see just an idea, she sees unlimited potential and translates that potential into creative opportunities. Working with Sherri is like riding on a magic carpet of possibilities. Combining tenacity, humor, insight, and 30 years of experience (and contacts!) in the worlds of entertainment, business, and finance, Sherri G. Sneed has proven to be an invaluable asset to any project!
After a successful career on Wall Street, Ms. Sneed forged her path in the television industry managing content from conception through delivery on the Lifetime TV show “Doctor’s Sunday”. Credits include; Producer on “The View” ABC-TV, Associate Producer “The Ricki Lake Show” Syndication, and Manager of Rights & Clearances on “Martin” Fox Broadcasting Company. Feature Film credits from Production Coordinator to Executive Producer; “Jungle Fever”, “Malcolm X”, “Poetic Justice”, “Out of Sync”, “Once Upon a Time…When We Were Colored”, “Spirit Lost” and “Celeste Dreams”. Sherri has also produced a series of Special Events & Award Shows for Ebony Magazine.
As a Development & Production Executive Sherri had the privilege of being impactful as:
Project Director, The City of Los Angeles John Singleton Short Film Competition
President, NetNoir Digital Entertainment
President, Magic Johnson Entertainment
Vice President Original Programming, Tim Reid Productions
Vice President of Production, United Image Entertainment Director of Business Affairs, John Singleton/New Deal Production
During the current global pandemic of 2020, Sherri has written her first screenplay, developing an adult socio-political animated series and is the Executive Producer of the Instagram Live Show “He Said…She Said” with hosts Bill Bellamy & Star Jones that streams Mondays 6pm PT, 9pm ET and archived on IGTV.
With a keen eye for details, tech savvy knowledge, integrity and discretion, Sherri is fondly known for her love of research, writing skills, innovative thinking and proactive solutions rising to the occasion to get the job done with a pleasant demeanor!
Henry N. Woods
Mr. Woods is the leader of the H N Woods Consultancy and former President of HNW International, Inc., a multi-faceted business and economic development organization firm specializing in urban neighborhood revitalization, business development and community development.
He successfully completed joint ventures in Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, Tampa, and Los Angeles. Additionally, Mr. Woods consulted with the Atlanta Economic Development Corporation to provide expertise that culminated in the development of the Magic Johnson Theater and revised Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Inner-City Games with the City of Atlanta.
Mr. Woods served over 10 years within the banking industry, from Loan Officer, Assistant Branch Manager to Business Development Officer, for such institutions as United California Bank, Community Bank and Family Savings Bank. Mr. Woods has received numerous honors and awards, including Who’s Who Among Black Americans – 1994, Rebuild L.A. Award – 1994, Who’s Who in California – 1986, Outstanding Young Man in America – 1986, as well as a host of commendations from former California Lieutenant Governor Leo McCarthy, former Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley, former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell, and former State Senator and now Congresswoman Diane Watson. Mr. Woods was an honor graduate with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Mississippi Valley State University. He also attended University of California at Los Angeles Extension (UCLA) and American Institute of Banking.
Mr. Woods is expert at building relationships between parties to expedite and successfully complete a variety of projects in the media business. His contacts and relationships are varied and wide ranging, resulting in the formation of working partnerships beneficial to parties with common interests.
Steve’s career has spanned more than four decades in telling stories with exceptional vision. As a producer and director, and early on as a cinematographer, his work in the U.S. and abroad for major clients in television, commercials, and large corporate events has won acclaim, including two Emmys for PBS Specials and numerous other industry awards.
Steve began his career as a news cinematographer at ABC and then moved to New Jersey Public Broadcasting as a cinematographer and studio director. Steve then began freelancing on dozens of television programs, series, and specials, including The Adams Chronicles and Sesame Street on PBS for which he won Emmy Awards as a cameraman and as a Director of Cinematography. Aligning with his music appreciation, Steve joined the team producing the first three seasons of “Live from Lincoln Center”. Then came a 13-part series of live symphony orchestra concerts for the BBC followed by a 39-program series, “The Jazz Set.” Steve continued filming concerts and tours with The Kinks, Ten Years After, The Electric Light Orchestra, James Taylor , Billy Joel, Blondie, and other Rock legends.
In 1985, Steve founded Zink Communications, which grew to a staff of over 70, producing and editing television shows, commercials, corporate meetings and films for corporate and broadcast clients, including IBM, AT&T, Xerox, Lotus, UPS, NEC, Apple, GM, Viacom, Canon, Sony, CBS, PBS, A&E, MTV, and Showtime. For UPS, Steve produced, directed, and filmed commercials in 35-mm in 18 countries around the world for branding for worldwide distribution. For IBM, Steve supervised all the creative and entertainment elements for the 18 annual Lotusphere events, among the largest IT sales conferences in the USA for live audiences of 10,000 plus 40,000 attendees via satellite. As President and Creative Director, Zink Communications won more than 30 industry awards.
Steve lives in Colts Neck, New Jersey, pursuing his interest in music and sailing.