September 16, 1955
|Residence||Cambridge, MA, USA|
|Alma mater||NYU (1979)|
|Years active||c. 1980s-present (television career)
2007-present (as Santa Claus)
|Home town||Harrisville, NH|
Carnegie Medal 2005
Jonathan Meath is an award–winning American TV producer based in Boston who is notable for earning numerous Emmy nominations and the coveted George Foster Peabody Award in 1993. He is known for his commitment to children's educational television. He was Senior Producer of the TV game show Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?. He was a producer of many programs including Zoom and The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss. He co-founded a production company called Andanzura. In addition, he has a dual career as a professional Santa.
He appeared as Santa on the ABC Morning News show Good Morning America, and at Radio City Music Hall in New York City, and he was the subject of articles in the Boston Herald and Boston Globe, appeared on the front cover of Boston Magazine as Father Christmas, and was interviewed on National Public Radio. He has been dubbed America's Top Santa.
Early life 
Meath was born in 1955 and attended the Friends School of Baltimore through fourth grade. He attended Phillips Academy in Andover and graduated in 1974 with the school's first co–educational class. His classmates included jazz musician Bill Cunliffe, software executive Peter Currie, painter Julian Hatton, writer Nate Lee, and sculptor Gar Waterman. As a student he directed his friend and classmate Dana Delany in a video for a film course taught by Steve Marx. He was good friends with editor Sara Nelson and restaurateur Priscilla Martel, also classmates. He recalled later that "Andover encouraged me to develop my skills as a creative individual ... The teachers understood that creative arts are also an intellectual pursuit." He graduated from New York University in 1979 and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree regarding film and television from the Tisch School where he was an honors scholar.
Television production 
During the 1980s Meath worked at CBS, Business Times, The Creative Establishment, MTV Networks and Greenwood Productions in various capacities as a creative writer and producer. During 1996–1998, he produced twenty shows for the Jim Henson Company called The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss where he worked on blue–screen production technology and digital recording. Also during the 1990s, he worked for PBS as a producer for the TV game show Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? where he produced 295 half–hour shows as well as Zoom where he produced 80 shows. In addition, he contributed to the Carmen Sandiego franchise as Director for the video games Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego? and Carmen Sandiego's Great Chase Through Time. From 2000–2001, he was creative director for a website TimeTo.com where he supervised content and over fifty designers. From 2001–2002, he was an Executive Producer for Discovery Networks supervising and producing 52 episodes of Paz the Penguin with an international team in the U.K. and U.S.. Paz was sold and distributed worldwide and in the U.S. was featured on the Discovery Kids Channel in their Ready, Set, Learn block. In 2003, he formed his own consulting firm MeathMedia and worked on projects involving animated characters such as The Peetnicks of Clutterbuck Valley (an online website). In 2009, he co–founded Andanzura, a media development and production company.
Santa Claus as a career 
Meath, as he got older and his hair got whiter, noticed that children sometimes called him Santa. He is slightly overweight – he described himself as an organic Santa – and his wife bought him a red suit. He said in 2008:
In a way, Santa started to present himself to me ... It's really more that Santa called me, rather than me deciding to be Santa. There's a place in my heart that said, This is calling you. Children's television this day and age is very educational. It's very fun and entertaining and deliberately thought out to be age-appropriate to deliver to the needs of kids, which is one of the things that led me toward Santa.—Jonathan Meath in 2008.
Meath studied at the International University of Santa Claus and earned the degree Master of Santa Claus in 2006. He joined and actively participates in associations such as the Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas, the Fraternity of International Real Bearded Santas, and is a ClausNet Member in "good standing". He began being a "full–time Santa" making appearances around Massachusetts and New Hampshire in parades, private parties, corporate parties, as well as the role of sitting "in the big chair" at retail stores to take pictures with children. In 2012, he appeared as Santa at Radio City Music Hall for the Christmas Spectacular show in New York City.
He described his approach to the character:
You are Santa 365 days a year. It's not respectful to kids to not acknowledge Santa. They need Santa ... It wasn't really a question of leaving my own job as it was to committing to the character. When you are Santa, you have a responsibility to the character, even when you're in your private life.—Jonathan Meath in 2008.
Meath "looks the part", according to one source, and uses his real beard but conditions it with a "shimmer-like shampoo known as Cowboy Magic, and uses hair gel for his mustache. He said:
It's fairly easy to be a good Santa if you’ve got the right heart. Being Santa is about the heart. It’s an icon of love and generosity. It’s about the kids.—Jonathan Meath in an interview, 2012
Meath was an extra in the 2008 movie Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. He has been the subject of articles in the Kennebunk Post, Boston Herald, Boston Globe, and Cambridge Chronicle. He was featured in an album in 2007. In addition, he is a professional actor and singer, and often sings for events to promote businesses or charities. He appeared with The Boston Pops for ten shows during the 2008 and 2009 seasons and for three shows with the Beantown Swing Orchestra in 2007. He performed at parades and tree lightings as well as the Harvard Square Parade. In 2009, Meath appeared in a thirty–second television commercial spot for the Boston Red Sox baseball team.
Charity work 
Meath has helped promote charity events such as the Red Sox's "Jimmy Fund Fundraiser" (2008), the Nature Center in New Canaan, CT, and the Dana–Farber Children's Clinic (2009). As Santa, he visited children who are cancer patients in hospitals. In addition, he supports the non–profit performing group Revels and sung as a tenor on two of their CD albums.
Meath has two children and one grandchild and lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Meath's father was Dr. James A. Meath; his mother was activist and historian Mary Stewart Hewitt. He is the great great grandson of businessman and sportsman John Malcolm Forbes and the great great great grandson of railroad industrialist John Murray Forbes. Meath's daughter, Amelia Randall Meath, is a member of the alternative folk band Mountain Man.
Awards and nominations 
|2005||Won||Carnegie Medal||Excellence in children's videos||FableVision's The Dot|
|2005||Nominated||Emmy (daytime)||Outstanding Pre-School Children's Series||Paz|
|2001||Nominated||Emmy (daytime)||Outstanding Children's Series||Zoom|
|2000||Nominated||Emmy (daytime)||Outstanding Children's Series||Zoom|
|1997||Nominated||Emmy||Outstanding Children's Program|
|1997||Nominated||Emmy||Outstanding Children's Program||The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss|
|1996||Nominated||Emmy (daytime)||Outstanding Children's Series||Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?|
|1993||Won||George Foster Peabody Award||Excellence for overall show||Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?|
Additional source for awards: Phillips Academy website
- "Jonathan Meath". Primetime Emmy Award Database. 1997. Retrieved 2010-11-14. "* Outstanding Children's Program - 1997 ... The Wubbulous World Of Dr. Seuss ... Jonathan Meath, Producer"
- "Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children's Video winners, 1991 to present". Association for Library Service for Children. 2005. Retrieved 2010-11-13. "2005 ... Jonathan Meath of FableVision, ..."
- Jonathan Meath (2010-11-13). "Jonathan Meath". MeathMedia. Retrieved 2010-11-13. "MeathMedia is the umbrella company for the activities and creations of Jonathan Meath."
- "Awards for Jonathan G. Meath". IMDb Internet Movie Database. 2001. Retrieved 2010-11-13. "see awards"
- LIAM MURPHY (2009-10-23). "Jonathan Meath ’74 Pursued Children’s Television Production After Cultivating His Interests at PA". Phillips Academy. Retrieved 2010-11-13. "Meath graduated from New York University in 1978 and has been nominated for one Primetime Emmy award and two Daytime Emmys for his work on the children’s series “Zoom” and “The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss.”"
- "FableVision Recognized as 2005 Carnegie Medal Co-Recipient". FableVision Fable Flash. 2005. Retrieved 2010-11-13. "FableVision now happily shares the Carnegie honors with co-producer Scholastic Weston Woods. Medals will be given ... Jonathan Meath, ..."
- "Famous Folks from Cambridge". The Boston Globe and Boston.com. 26 March 2012. Retrieved October 17, 2012. "... The Cambridge resident spent 15 years in children's television producing ... producers behind "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego." ... Santa Claus....."
- "Carmen Sandiego's Great Chase Through Time". allgame. 2010-11-13. Retrieved 2010-11-13. ""The Chief" Video Director ... Jonathan Meath"
- About This Person (2010). "Jonathan Meath". The New York Times: Movies & TV. Retrieved 2010-11-13. "Jonathan Meath Filmography: Zoom (TV Series)"
- "Jonathan Meath". Yahoo! TV. 2010-11-13. Retrieved 2010-11-13. "The Making of Zoom. Producer. Zoom. Senior producer."
- Liam Murphy (October 26, 2009). "Jonathan Meath ’74 Pursued Children’s Television Production After Cultivating His Interests at PA". The Philippian. Retrieved 2010-11-13. "Jonathan Meath ’74, ... co-found Andanzura, a children’s television production company. ..."
- Alex E. Weaver (December 7, 2012). ""The Harvard of Santa Schools”: Tracking Kris Kringle to the Classroom". BostInno. Retrieved December 12, 2012. "... Jonathan Meath, a Cambridge resident who’s been a professional Kris Kringle for seven years. ... appeared all over the world, in malls and movies, radio shows and, currently, Radio City Music Hall in New York ..."
- Rich Whittle (December 12, 2007). "Swingin’ Santa Finds Singing’s Big Business". Boston Herald. Retrieved 2010-11-13. "Here’s one Santa who sings for his snack. Professional Santa Jonathan Meath, a Cambridge television producer, has released a holiday CD ..."
- Mary Ann Georgantopoulos (December 23, 2007). "Miracle on Mass. Ave.: City Santa takes suit seriously". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2010-11-13. "... Jonathan Meath is the perfect fit for a Santa. He is slightly overweight (he prefers the term "organic Santa"), has a red suit ..."
- Win Rosenfeld (December 25, 2007). "America's Next Top Santa". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2010-11-13. "... Santa also goes by the name Jonathan Meath. When he's not checking his lists, Jonathan is a TV Producer who specializes in children's programming...."
- "Santa in town for May Day parade". Seacoastonline.com. April 24, 2008. Retrieved 2010-11-13. "You may think that Santa Claus only comes to town in December but The Kennebunks will be in for a treat when he makes a special guest appearance at the May Day parade on Saturday, May 3. ..."
- Santa Glen, secretary (2010-10). "Minutes of meeting". San Diego Chapter of F.O.R.B.S. Retrieved 2010-11-13. "Hello fellow Santas, ... Fashion Show:...Jonathan Meath..."
- Edward B. Colby (December 3, 2009). "Town in the spirit: Dedham Square to be filled with song, shopping". Dedham Transcript. Retrieved 2010-11-13. "DEDHAM — ... Jonathan Meath – better known as Santa JG, who performs with the Boston Pops – ... “We booked him months ago because we knew that he’s in demand this time of year,” ..."
- Billy Baker (December 11, 2012). "Real or fake beards? Santas split hairs". Boston Globe. Retrieved December 12, 2012. "... Jonathan Meath, a real-bearded Santa ... Radio City Christmas Spectacular in New York ... shimmer-like shampoo, a conditioner called Cowboy Magic, and hair gel for his mustache."
- Monica Brady-Myerov (December 22, 2009). "Santa Pays A Special Visit". wbur.org 99.9 radio. Retrieved 2010-11-14. "Santa Claus, also known as Jonathan Meath, says kids all want the same thing: toys! And it’s no different for the kids he visited at the Jimmy Fund Clinic at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute this week."
- "Mary Stewart Hewitt". Monadnock Ledger-Transcript. January 10, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-14. "She is survived by her husband, Peter M. Hewitt; two daughters, Margaret F. Meath of Lorton, Va., and Sarah M. Tibbetts of Scituate, Mass.; two sons, James S. Huntington-Meath of Chapel Hill, N.C., and Jonathan G. Meath of Cambridge, Mass."
- "32nd ANNUAL DAYTIME EMMY AWARD NOMINATIONS". NATIONAL TELEVISION ACADEMY. March 2, 2005. Retrieved 2010-11-14. "Outstanding Pre-School Children's Series ... PAZ * TLC JONATHAN MEATH, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER"
- "Outstanding Children's Series". Internet Movie Database. 2001. Retrieved 2010-11-14. "Zoom: Kate Taylor (executive producer), Jonathan G. Meath (senior producer),"
- "Outstanding Children's Series". Internet Movie Database. 2000. Retrieved 2010-11-13. "Zoom: Kate Taylor (executive producer), Jonathan G. Meath (senior producer),"
- "Jonathan Meath 1974". Phillips Academy. 2010-11-14. Retrieved 2010-11-14. "Children's television producer, "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" [1991-96], recipient, Peabody Award for Excellence , Emmy Award ; "ZOOM" [1999-2005]; "The Dot" [video], recipient, Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children's Video "