The Broadway Backstory to That Epic Emmys Proposal

Film & TV News   The Broadway Backstory to That Epic Emmys Proposal
Jan Svendsen, who became engaged to Emmy winner Glenn Weiss during the September 17 broadcast, has close ties to Broadway.
Jan Svendson and Glenn Weiss
Jan Svendson and Glenn Weiss Kevork Djansezian/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

On September 17, director Glenn Weiss made history when he proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Jan Svendsen, during his acceptance speech at the 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards. Now the world is asking: Who is Jan Friedlander Svendsen?

Broadway has known for years. Before her current position as Chief Creative Officer for the Charity Network in charge of all of the content generated by Charity Network, Prizeo, and Charitybuzz, Svendsen served 17 years at The Broadway League.

As Director of Marketing and Business Development and Chief Marketing Officer for the League, Svendsen developed such pillar events as Kids’ Night on Broadway, Women’s Night on Broadway, and Viva Broadway. She created and produced the annual Stars in the Alley, the Tony Awards Preview Show (which has previously been nominated for Emmys consideration), and the Tony Awards Red Carpet Show.

Simultaneously, Svendsen was the Chief Marketing Officer for the Tony Awards and was responsible for the marketing, advertising, promotions, sponsorships, and media relations for the Tony Awards during her tenure. Weiss served as an executive producer of the Tony Awards from 2004 to the most recent in 2018. He directed the Tony Awards beginning in 2001 (the 55th Annual) through 2018.

His 2018 Emmy win comes for his direction of the 2018 Academy Awards, though he previously won for his direction of the 2002 Tony Awards, the 2004 Tony Awards, the 2006 and 2007 Tony Awards, and the 2009–2013 Tony Awards. Weiss has won a total of 11 Primetime Emmys.

Weiss proposed to Svendsen on the air. “You wonder why I don't like to call you my girlfriend? Because I want to call you my wife,” he told her from the stage. Svendsen joined him at the microphone and accepted his proposal with an emphatic, “Yes, of course I will.”

In her role at Charity Network, Svendsen continues to build strategic partnerships as she did during her time at the League. Prior to working on Broadway, Svendsen was the Vice President at Ogilvy Advertising. She has a bachelor’s from San Diego State University and a Master’s from the American Graduate School of International Management at Arizona State University.

Congrats to the happy couple!

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