WBUR NAMES INTERIM GM. Two days before WBUR Radio general manager Jane Christo officially leaves, Boston University has announced that Peter Fiedler - the son of the late Boston Pops conductor Arthur Fiedler - will replace her on an interim basis. The text of the announcement is as follows:
BOSTON - Boston University today announced that Peter Fiedler will be the interim general manager of WBUR-FM. Fiedler met with station managers today and will begin work immediately.
"Sitting down with staff members will be my top priority," said Fiedler, who will oversee the day-to-day operations of the station during the search for a permanent general manager. "I want to hear from employees at all levels of the operation as we work on strengthening one of the top public radio stations in the country."
Fiedler began his 25-year media career in television production at WCVB-TV, the ABC affiliate in Boston, where he held a variety of positions including unit manager and field producer/director. He provided creative production and direction to an interactive video startup in 1984. He then became Vice President and General Manager for Target Productions and then served as Director of Operations for Channel 68 in Boston. Fiedler currently oversees sports broadcasting, media services, publications and the classroom upgrade technology program as an assistant vice president at Boston University.
Fiedler, who lives with his wife and three children in Boxford, is the son of legendary Boston Pops Conductor Arthur Fiedler and remains actively involved in the annual 4th of July concert on the Esplanade.
The two most significant pieces of news here, I think, are that (1) Fiedler was named so quickly (in an interview with the Phoenix this week, for an item that will be published tomorrow, BU spokeswoman Nancy Sterling suggested the interim GM might not be named until next week); and (2) Christo will be replaced not by one of her own underlings, but rather by someone with significant broadcast experience who's now in an executive position at BU.
The Channel 68 background is interesting as well. During the 1990s, BU acquired the station and attempted to turn it into a news-and-public-affairs channel. You might say the university tried to emulate what Christo had accomplished at WBUR and failed (the station is now owned by the family-friendly PAX chain), although that would be unfair, since Channel 68 had nothing like National Public Radio to rely on for a good share of its programming.
Among the folks who passed through Channel 68 were Charles Adler, now a talk-shot host at CJOB Radio, in Winnipeg, as well as two hosts who moved on to prominent slots at WBUR: Ted O'Brien (now at BU) and Delores Handy-Brown.