SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Directors of Northern California Public Broadcasting announced today their selection of John L. Boland to become the organization's sixth president and chief executive officer since its founding as KQED-TV in 1954. Northern California Public Broadcasting, one of the nation's largest and most popular public media organizations, is comprised of public television stations KQED, KTEH, and KQET; public radio stations KQED and KQEI; websites kqed.org and kteh.org; and the Education Network.
Boland succeeds Jeff Clarke, who is retiring after nearly 45 years in public media and broadcast journalism. Clarke's final day will be March 19. Boland will begin his tenure on March 22, 2010.
A media executive and journalist, Boland has been a leader in the transformation of public media to serve the rapidly changing needs of the American public in the digital age. He has articulated a vision for 21st century public media that combines robust digital radio and television broadcasting with the utilization of new media platforms and has initiated experiments and inspired innovation at both the local and national levels.
The role of chief content officer (CCO) was created for Boland—the first such position in public media—at KQED Public Broadcasting in 2002 and he went on to become the first chief content officer of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in 2006. At PBS, Boland created a new structure that combined six previously separate operating divisions—new media, education, television programming, content services, promotion, and communications—into an integrated, multi-platform organization. Under Boland's leadership, QUEST, KQED's Emmy Award—winning local science, environment and nature series, emerged as a "platform-agnostic" initiative with a multi-disciplinary team that utilizes radio, television, new digital platforms, and educational services to inform and engage the public.
In a resolution expressing appreciation for his vision and leadership during his tenure at PBS, the PBS Board of Directors credited Boland with development of "a new content strategy that combines experimentation and innovation to reach audiences on digital media platforms, while continuing to strengthen the core PBS television service. John has helped PBS stake its future in the new world of public service media."
"The NCPB Board was intent on selecting the optimal candidate to lead the organization at this critical time in the evolution of public media, so we undertook a comprehensive national search," said Willa Seldon, chair of the NCPB Board of Directors. "We concluded that John Boland's combination of proven leadership skills, track record of innovation and fundraising, experience with multiple media platforms, and knowledge of public media is the perfect fit for this organization at this moment in its history. His past association with KQED and his deep connection to the Northern California community were added bonuses."
"I am honored to have been selected for this important role and I look forward to working with the NCPB staff, management, Board, and members of the community to advance the mission of public media," said Boland. "The digital revolution confronts us with unprecedented challenges as the ways in which citizens access and interact with media are changing daily. But we are also presented with the opportunity and the necessity to utilize digital technology to serve the public in new and more meaningful ways. I believe the new public service media models will be invented primarily at the local level, serving local communities, and Northern California is an ideal setting for this kind of innovation."
During Boland's tenure, PBS dramatically increased its emphasis on new digital media with the launch of three state-of-the-art video players designed for use on pbs.org, local station websites, and via distribution partnerships with iTunes, YouTube, Hulu, and other online syndicators; the development of custom social media tools in order to engage the public and promote public media content; and the introduction of the Digital Learning Library to serve teachers through local stations to access all of public media's educational assets.
Boland also oversaw three multi-platform content initiatives in categories that have seen dramatic decreases in commercial media outlets: news and public affairs, the arts, and children's educational content. Drawing on his journalism background and his experience in radio and print media, Boland designed the news and public affairs initiative with three components: refreshing the PBS television line-up with new and redesigned programs like the new PBS NewsHour and the recently announced Need To Know Web-TV project; establishing an online news "supervertical" to aggregate content from public radio, TV, and other public service content providers; and an NPR-PBS partnership to support local public radio and television stations in providing news services for their communities.
Boland served in several executive roles at KQED for more than a decade before joining PBS. As vice president, marketing, development & communications, Boland played a key role in the planning for the $70 million KQED Campaign for the Future, one of the largest fundraising initiatives in public media's history.
As chief content officer, in addition to being instrumental in the creation of QUEST, he maintained KQED's leadership in the use of digital media, encouraging early experiments with the many new technologies being developed and leading the organization into the 21st Century.
Previously, as KQED's executive vice president & chief operating officer, Boland directed strategic planning, led labor negotiations, established new media as a full-fledged operating unit, coordinated planning for the digital conversion of broadcast operations, and helped deliver six consecutive years of positive fiscal results.
Boland began his media career as an award-winning daily newspaper reporter and editor in his native New Jersey and went on to serve as a newspaper publisher and owner, a senior executive with two major international marketing and communications firms, Burson-Marsteller and Hill & Knowlton, and publisher of San Francisco Focus (now San Francisco magazine).
He has been a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 25 years.
Northern California Public Broadcasting, Inc. (NCPB) (www.ncpb.com) is the most-watched public television and most-listened-to public radio broadcaster in the country. NCPB owns and operates public television stations KQED 9HD (San Francisco), KTEH 54 (San Jose), and KQET 25 (Watsonville/Monterey); KQED Public Radio (88.5FM San Francisco and 89.3FM Sacramento); KQED and KTEH Education Network; and the Interactive platforms KQED.org and KTEH.org. Audiences and users can also access NCPB content through: digital television channels 9HD, Life, World, Kids, V-me and KQED PBS Kids Sprout; and stream or download available content on www.kqed.org and www.kteh.org.