Donald Boswell announces plans to leave WNED/WBFO

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Donald K. Boswell will retire next June as president and CEO of Buffalo Toronto Public Media, which operates WNED-TV/FM and WBFO-FM in Buffalo, N.Y.


Boswell has led WNED, a joint licensee that provides PBS, NPR and classical music to Western New York state and Southern Ontario, since 1998. In 2012, WNED acquired WBFO, an NPR News station in Buffalo. The expansion provided an FM signal for WNED’s news coverage and ended competition for the region’s NPR news listeners. The stations rebranded as Buffalo Toronto Public Media in February.

“Don Boswell is a powerful and charismatic leader who has been successful in strategically positioning WNED | WBFO as the region’s most trusted and valued public media enterprise,” said Board Chair Joseph D. McDonald in a news release. “He is a wonderful man. We gratefully celebrate his contributions to the communities we serve in the Buffalo-Toronto area. The Board of Trustees knows that finding Don’s successor is no small task. Our goal is a smooth transition to our next great leader.”

Boswell began his public broadcasting career as a teenage volunteer for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, produced at WQED in Pittsburgh, his hometown. His first job, in 1977, was in community relations and production at WVIA-TV/FM in Pittston, Pa. He was VP of development for KCTS in Seattle before working as EVP and COO for KERA in Dallas.

As CEO of Buffalo Toronto Public Media, Boswell chaired the board of American Public Television and served as vice chair of PBS’ board of directors.

“It is time to pass the baton,” said Boswell, who will turn 70 next year. He plans to remain in Buffalo during retirement, pursue writing scripts for films and plays, and remain active in civic life by serving on boards of local organizations.

“I am blessed to have had the support of such a great staff, board, and community,” Boswell said. “I am most proud of building a talented team that understands the great privilege of telling the stories of Western New York and Southern Ontario. We embrace the role of ‘storyteller,’ highlighting our rich history, traditions and culture by educating and entertaining viewers here and nationally through PBS and American Public Television.”

WNED Trustee Maureen Hurley is chair of the search committee recruiting a successor through Washington, D.C.–based Sally M. Sterling Executive Search. The firm has recruited top officers for PBS, NPR, American Public Media, the Smithsonian, the National Gallery of Art, the Ford Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.

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