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|John Boland Named Chief Content Officer for KQED Public Broadcasting|
Current COO Will Now Assume Unique Position Within Media Industry as Content Executive for Multi-Platform Enterprise
San Francisco, California, August 27, 2002 -- John L. Boland, executive vice president and chief operating officer of KQED Public Broadcasting, was today named to a new role -- chief content officer of KQED. Effective October 1, Boland will direct the production, acquisition, programming and delivery of content through television, radio, new media and educational services. In addition to day-to-day management responsibility for all media operations, he will oversee multi-platform digital initiatives, partnerships for content development, communications and promotion, and community outreach.
"John's new assignment signals KQED's continuing transformation from a traditional broadcaster to a digital public multimedia organization," said Jeff Clarke, KQED president and CEO in his announcement of the appointment. "KQED is harnessing the revolutionary changes in telecommunications technology to provide more and better programs and services to the people of Northern California. We are among the very few fortunate organizations with highly successful television, radio and new media services under one roof. The appointment of a chief content officer will help ensure that all our media work in synergy to achieve the maximum potential of the new digital capabilities currently being installed at KQED. John is uniquely qualified to take on this new role."
This is a time of unparalleled challenge and opportunity for public broadcasting. Guided by a five-year strategic plan, KQED is in the midst of converting its broadcast and production operations to new digital technology and entering the final phase of a special $70 million Campaign for the Future. More than $52.4 million has been raised to date, with an additional $2 million challenge grant from The Kresge Foundation.
"I am delighted to be returning to my roots and focusing on content at such an exciting time of change," said Boland, who began his media career as a working journalist. "This assignment allows me to focus my full attention on that part of the media business for which I have the greatest passion -- content."
Boland has held a variety of management roles at KQED since joining the organization. As chief operating officer, and earlier as vice president of marketing and development, he contributed to KQED's six consecutive years of record operating results. In addition to serving as lead manager in KQED's strategic planning process and directing a relaunch of the KQED brand, Boland has recently brokered a series of strategic partnerships, particularly in the realm of television production, that have raised KQED's profile as a content provider for the PBS system.
KQED is currently producing a new national series, FRONTLINE/World, in partnership with WGBH Boston, and has co-produced two programs, "The Merry Widow from San Francisco Opera" and "Lar Lubovitch's Othello from San Francisco Ballet," for the upcoming 30th anniversary season of PBS's Great Performances series. KQED's co-production of Sweeney Todd in Concert with the San Francisco Symphony last summer has been nominated for KQED's first-ever national primetime Emmy award for Outstanding Classical Music-Dance Program. A special production of KQED's Bay Window series, "Presumed Guilty," a behind-the-scenes look at the San Francisco Public Defender's Office, will air nationally on PBS in October. A previous Bay Window program, "No Turning Back," won KQED its first national Emmy for community service last year. KQED has been nominated again this year for "GunShots," also a Bay Window program.
More than a year in the making, the first-ever California-wide public affairs series, California Connected, premiered in April -- a joint project of KQED, KCET Los Angeles, KPBS San Diego and KVIE Sacramento -- and airs Thursday nights in all California markets. KQED also plans to begin production later this year on Spark, a new local arts and culture series, in partnership with the Bay Area Video Coalition. The series will debut in 2003. Boland also has recently negotiated development agreements with international producers and independent studios in Hollywood for several programs that are targeted for national broadcast on PBS in 2004.
"My mantra over the past few years has been 'partner or perish'," added Boland. "And partnerships -- within KQED among our own multiple media platforms and with outside entities -- will be essential to KQED's continued growth and success in the content arena."
KQED has also become a showcase for the work of independent producers -- including Bay Area filmmakers -- providing special grants, production facilities and broadcasting more than 300 independent works on television over the last year.
KQED also anticipates continued expansion of its fast-growing public radio service, which consistently ranks among the highest listenership of any station in the history of public radio, and KQED.org, already among the leading public broadcasting Web sites in the nation.
"We are adding dynamic radio programs, like Pacific Time, and expanding The California Report, and distributing them beyond KQED. We are also experimenting with satellite radio distribution, and we believe Northern California would welcome a second public radio service from KQED if we can find a feasible way to acquire another frequency," added Boland.
"Interactive media, including our Web site, have already begun to increase the impact of our programming. On September 30, we will relaunch KQED.org with new capabilities. We are also planning multimedia pilot projects that test new technologies and inter-institutional content partnerships."
Boland was recruited by KQED in 1995 to lead a financial turnaround at San Francisco Focus (now San Francisco magazine), then owned by KQED. In 1996 he was appointed vice president, marketing and development, and in 1999 was named executive vice president and chief operating officer with responsibility for all day-to-day operations. Prior to joining KQED, Boland was owner and publisher of the weekly Sonoma County Independent, of which he remains a shareholder and a director. He had previously served as senior vice president & general manager of Burson Marsteller, then the leading communications consulting firm in San Francisco.
Boland, 53, began as a daily newspaper reporter and editor in his native New Jersey, and has held a variety of editorial and business management positions in the publishing and public relations industries over the course of a 30-year career. He lives in San Francisco with James Carroll, his partner for the last 20 years. Boland and Carroll own and operate Dos Reis Ranch, an historic apple orchard in Sebastopol, California. Boland also swims competitively as a member of the University of San Francisco masters team.
KQED operates KQED Public Television 9, the nation's most-watched public television station, and Digital Television 30, Northern California's only public television digital signal; KQED Public Radio 88.5 FM, the most-listened-to public radio station in the nation; the KQED Education Network, which brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and media professionals through workshops, seminars and resources; and KQED.org, which harnesses the power of the Internet to bring KQED to communities across the Web.