A veteran reporter, producer and news director, Billy Otwell has spent more than 30 years in television news. He joined VOA in 2011 as an analyst in Language Programming. In that capacity he guided VOA’s various language services to improved TV production skills, new programming and optimal use of research data available to target appropriate audiences. He also developed new workflows to help the services model their production and broadcast output after their commercial counterparts. Billy also served as general manager of VOA’s Persian Service. During his tenure there, he was instrumental in ramping up coverage of Iran’s presidential election in June 2013.
Prior to VOA, Billy Otwell has had various leadership positions in television newsrooms. Under Billy’s direction the newsroom at WTNH, the ABC affiliate in Connecticut, achieved its highest news ratings, gained market share and collected numerous Emmy awards for breaking news, innovation and investigative reporting. At WXIA-TV in Atlanta, Billy worked with station management to launch a history making journalist exchange with the former Soviet Union.
In early 2001, at the Hartford Courant newspaper, Billy led the “convergence” of print, web and the Tribune News Service’s TV station in the market. A few months later, the paper, TV station and website were amply prepared to cover the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on all platforms.
A native of Atlanta, Billy is a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in Communications. He is married with two grown children who also live in the Washington, D.C. area.