Friday, November 19, 2010

WBUR's general manager to exit

Paul La Camera, who has been at the helm of public radio station WBUR 90.9 for the past five years, plans to step down at the end of December, it was announced today.

La Camera, 68, a Boston University alum and a veteran Boston TV executive(33 years with Channel 5), came out of a brief retirement to take over BU-owned WBUR 90.9 in October 2005 after months of turmoil and uncertainty that saw former GM Jane Christo resign amid questions of financial mismanagement and very questionable hiring practices.

Five years ago, La Camera inherited a station with a $13-million budget deficit and lack of focus and identity. But in a short period of time, he turned around WBUR's finances and refocused programming direction on more local news coverage and community. The BU campus-based $21-million operation which employs about 120 people recently completed its most successful fall fundraising period ever. The station raised nearly $1.3 million in pledges from about 13,000 listeners in one day. On the average, WBUR attracts 438,500 listeners every quarter hour according to Arbitron. It's one of the highest-rated public radio stations in the country.

Despite giving up day-to-day duties at the station, he'll be staying on for two more years as Boston University's Public Radio Ambassador to help with WBUR's promotion, fundraising, and to ease the transition for the the next general manager.

Boston University, WBUR's licensee, will start a process to replace La Camera.

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