The "Antiques Roadshow's" greatest treasure wasn't bought at a garage sale.
Now entering her fourth season as executive producer of public television's star property, Aida Moreno can stand up to the toughest appraisal.
Part barn boss, part den mother, part rainmaker and part diplomat, the 42-year-old veteran of WGBH in Boston is the driving force behind PBS' top-rated program.
The hypnotic, wildly popular "Antiques Roadshow" may not have been her idea (it is derived from a long-running British series of the same name), but the Portugual-born Ms. Moreno has given it a uniquely American stamp.
At each stop across the country, as many as 7,000 people line up to have experts tell them the history of their personal treasures.
While only about 50 make it on camera, it is "those stories that drive the show. It's a journey of discovery . . . and then there's a price tag. What other show do you know that has America so much on display?"
Added to Ms. Moreno's storytelling and logistical skills is a flair for negotiation that a corporate dealmaker might envy. After all, she is probably the only person ever to have to coaxed archrivals Christie's Auction House and Sotheby's to work together-at their own expense, no less.
"They were very suspicious of each other at first, [but now] they are part of a very hardworking team that has learned to trust and use each other," she says.
She also knows how to bring in the money-no small trick at chronically underfunded PBS.
"When you are on the begging end, everything takes good proposals, good information and good research," Ms. Moreno says.
Luckily, primary underwriter Chubb Group of Insurance Cos. "saw the value . . . and made our dreams come true."
And with the recent addition of First Union as underwriter, "Antiques Roadshow" is in the rare position of not needing to seek any more funding right now.
"After 22 years in public television, that is a highly unusual situation for me