By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Change at WBUR

The spring issue of CommonWealth Magazine has hit the Web. And I’ve got a story on Paul La Camera, the veteran television executive who’s now the general manager of WBUR Radio (90.9 FM), Boston University’s public-radio powerhouse.

My focus is on La Camera’s efforts to transform ‘BUR into a local force without giving up its reputation for covering national and international issues. Key quote from La Camera: “I just believe that if we’re going to make as full a contribution as we ought to make to an informed citizenry, part of that has to be local reporting.”

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  1. Anonymous

    I like Paul.But is this quote of his or this story disengenious or simply ironic that this is the same guy who did not mind killing off “Five on Five” on CVB one of the best local shows ever to be on Boston TV screens. It made people aware of a lot of important issues locally and debated them very well.What was wrong with THAT local coverage???Wasting Peter Mehagan’s charisma and skill as well as an interesting group of locals like Ari and others is one of the unforgivable sins around this area in my book.Peter didn’t really retire from Chronicle immediately after the show was canceled. So he could have done it longer, it seems. Unless there is some behind the curtains politics reason why it was canned the public is not aware of.I am not sure about this local apporach since BUR doesn’t strike me as attracting hosts who care about local happeneings as much as they are zoned in on national and international news and arts. BUR’s success was hugely due to Paul’s predecessor’s ability to produce and re-sell programs that were locally produced and able to be broadcast on NPR’s networks across the nation. I think it would be great if they can do it. YOu never hear any local personality interviewed in mid morning or afternoon on BUR airwaves. RKO invites all sorts of candidates, the mayor, the gov, lt gov or other newsworthy people on, on a poorly managed program nonetheless usually like the ‘Independent Ditz’ program and BUR could do a much better job of it.I am skeptical that BUR employee atmosphere there will ever get really excited about going local in any meaningful way. And we all know how important for BUR GMs to stay on the good graces of his staff, lest you want to see leaked memos and confidential info out in the open.We’ll have to wait and see.N.

  2. Anonymous

    So, N., I take it we can put you down as a Jane supporter?

  3. Anonymous

    What a duntz!

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  5. Anonymous

    Ok, help me out here….Where do you see the equivalence that from my ackowledging Jane for the good that she had done amounts to also endorsing her style, excesses and failures???Or is that this anon poster is a scummy human being as to NOT give her ANY credit at all and completely assassinate her record??Why can’t you have the decency to call a spade what it is and simply reckon with the fact that under her watch, many locally produced shows were national successes.Or is it the “leak” reference that peeved you?? It is a fact. BUR employees DID leak and murmur. Is that slanderous on my part or is it correct??? It was useful to shed light but it did happen.So, sorry anons there to hold the mirror to your face. I guess truth does hurt. You two I guess are probably BUR workers, not keen on being described as little weazels or giving any credit to a boss you hated. I shouldn’t have rocked your miserable little world , right??Good luck to Jane at Tufts or wherever; I am glad she is gone from BUR, but have some decency, for a change, anons!N.

  6. Anonymous

    N. I’m one of those anons you’re addressing. I can’t help noticing you are anonymous here as well.No, I don’t work at ‘BUR, never have, never will. I simply follow the media closely, especially radio, and contribute money to both NPR affiliates in Boston.And if anyone’s a scumbag, it’s Jane Christo.

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