Powered by Google
In This Issue
Editor's Picks
News & Features
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Food & Drink
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Classifieds Home
Adult Personals
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Here's the new music you'll hear this week. Click on the track to buy from our iTunes store.
Matisyahu - King Without A Crown
Death Cab For Cutie - Soul Meets Body
Depeche Mode - Precious
The Strokes - Juicebox
Morningwood - Nth Degree

Entire playlist >>

sponsored link
- - - - - - - - - - - - -
adult toys, movies  & more

Serving the reality-based community since 2002.

Notes and observations on the press, politics, culture, technology, and more. To sign up for e-mail delivery, click here. To send an e-mail to Dan Kennedy, click here. For bio, published work, and links to other blogs, visit www.dankennedy.net.

Monday, November 29, 2004

DOLLARS AND SENSE AT WBUR. A business-consulting firm will begin setting up shop today at WBUR Radio (90.9 FM) in an effort to bring the Boston University-owned station's runaway costs under control.

Grant Thornton - whose clients include New Balance - will "review and [make] recommendations related to station operations, business office functions (including accounting, budgeting, and reporting), and personnel procedures and staffing patterns," according to a staff memo by the station's interim general manager, Peter Fiedler. Media Log obtained a copy of Fiedler's memo just before Thanksgiving.

The complete text of Fiedler's memo is as follows:

Dear Colleagues,

As I begin my sixth week at WBUR, I would like to share a number of my observations and some important developments taking place at the station.

As you all know by now, I have been holding individual meetings with members of the staff. These interviews have helped me learn a great deal about WBUR and understand the views and concerns of the staff in a relatively short time frame. I've quickly found that there is a very steep learning curve required for this job, and I'd like to thank all members of the WBUR community who have generously and candidly shared their viewpoints with me. I encourage WBUR staff members who have not yet met with me to please do so. Marinela Misho will assist you to find a mutually convenient time.

On Monday, November 29, consultants from Grant Thornton, a highly regarded national business consulting firm, will begin their work at the station. The Grant Thornton team will be located in the small conference room next to the general manager's office. Grant Thornton's focus will be on the administrative components of the WBUR Group. This will include, but is not limited to, review and recommendations related to station operations, business office functions (including accounting, budgeting, and reporting), and personnel procedures and staffing patterns. In addition, Grant Thornton will analyze fundraising systems and procedures, as well as other revenue streams including donations, grants and contracts, and underwriting. Grant Thornton will not be advising management on the type or format of programs currently being produced by WBUR. Their charge is to review systems, procedures, and management information processes to help establish a plan to improve station operations.

During the course of their assignment, members of the Grant Thornton team may ask to interview selected members of the WBUR staff in order to gain additional insight and to understand the context of station operations. My principal objective over the course of the next few months will be to concentrate on developing an appropriate framework that will support the core mission of the WBUR Group. As you may know, I have already decided to discontinue the Citizens of the World travel program. After careful analysis, it is apparent that the travel program does not adequately contribute to the support of our core mission of broadcasting programs of the highest quality. I intend to continue a systematic review of other station-related functions and activities to be sure they focus on maintaining our nationally recognized programming efforts and positively contribute to that end.

Although we are making progress toward examining station finances and identifying areas in which we can move forward, it is important to note that advances for WBUR will not be accomplished without some dislocation. A fiscally responsible plan will ultimately require us to prioritize activities and invest only in those that contribute to our principal mission. I am working closely with departments at Boston University to take advantage of existing central resources, such as assistance with purchasing, and to ensure that the most efficient and beneficial actions are undertaken during this period of transition.

Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any suggestions or questions, or if I can be of any assistance to you. I wish to thank each member of the WBUR community for your understanding and support during this time, and for the warm reception you have given me. It has made my work considerably more pleasurable. I hope you and your families have an enjoyable Thanksgiving holiday.

Peter Fiedler Assistant Vice President & Interim General Manager WBUR-FM 90.9 890 Commonwealth Avenue Boston, MA

Fielder's memo looks like good news for the station's staff and listeners. Rather than taking a chainsaw to programming, Fielder appears committed to managing his way out of the millions of dollars in debt left behind by longtime general manager Jane Christo, whom Fielder replaced on October 8.

The fear remains that Christo built up WBUR's programming beyond the station's capacity to support itself, especially in the post-dot-com '00s.

THE DEDHAM TORTURE CONNECTION. Farah Stockman has a truly odd story in today's Boston Globe about a Dedham law firm that's being used for cover with respect to a private plane linked to US-sanctioned torture operations.

FRONT-PAGE HEALY. Just-departed Globe reporter Patrick Healy has his first front-page story in the New York Times - a piece on rising tensions on Long Island between largely white communities and Hispanic day workers, many of whom are in the US illegally. [Whoops - wrong Healy. See correction.]

posted at 10:02 AM | 1 comments | link


The article is "truly odd" only in the sense that it is thoroughly researched and doesn't unquestioningly repeat any Bush Administration talking points as fact. I liked it, and I hope the Globe prints more original research about national and international politics, instead of putting most of its efforts into stories like U.S. Marshals slacking off.

It's not odd at all that the Bush Administration is outsourcing torture... they've been doing it for years. Or have you forgotten this story (Washington Post article about Farrar outsourced to Syria)?

By island_earth, at 10:46 AM  

Post a Comment


Dan Kennedy is senior writer and media critic for the Boston Phoenix.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


about the phoenix |  find the phoenix |  advertising info |  privacy policy |  the masthead | Webmaster |  feedback |  work for us
Copyright © 2005 Phoenix Media/Communications Group