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WBUR Names Interim GM Amid Financial Probes

WBUR Names Interim GM Amid Financial Probes

The son of the late Boston Pops conductor Arthur Fiedler has been named interim general manager of WBUR(FM), following Jane Christo’s resignation. As assistant vice president of Boston University, Peter Fiedler oversees sports broadcasting, media services, publications and upgrades to classroom technology, according to the Boston Globe, which quotes a university spokeswoman as saying Fiedler would add overseeing WBUR to his present duties while a search begins for a new GM.
The Rhode Island Attorney General’s Office is investigating WBUR’s proposed sale of two stations in that state; the university is also looking into charges of financial mismanagement at the station, according to the Globe.
A Globe columnist, Steve Bailey, believes WBUR’s widening debt load – the station owed $12.4 million to Boston University by 2003 – which represented more than half of its annual operating budget, was Christo’s downfall. He believes she had good intentions when purchasing the Rhode Island stations, but they became “a money pit” and that, coupled with the downturn in the economy, “an anemic endowment that has produced volatile returns, and weak alumni giving” all led to hard times financially for WBUR and its licensee, Boston University.