John Boland (pictured), who became president and chief executive of KQED parent Northern California Public Broadcasting (NCPB), has announced a management restructuring that puts more people under his direct control.

The press release didn’t suggest anybody was sacked or demoted. Instead, the heads of the radio, TV and educational operations will become “senior content managers” who will now report directly to Boland.

The three senior content managers are Jo Anne Wallace, vice president and general manager, KQED Public Radio; Michael Isip, vice president, television; and Tim Olson, vice president, digital media and education.

From now on, chief financial officer Mitzie Kelley and chief development officer Traci Eckels will also report to Boland, the statement said. Kelley, who had been serving as interim CFO since September, will hold the position permanently.

Marketing chief Don Derheim has been promoted to executive vice president and chief operating officer, and will also report directly to Boland. Derheim, a 19-year veteran at KQED, will oversee membership, marketing, communications, technology, HR and legal.

William Lowery has been promoted to general counsel and corporate secretary. Lowery has served in this role on an interim basis since March.

Steve Welch, currently vice president, engineering and technology, becomes chief technology officer, reflecting the expanding importance technology plays in public media.

Boland, who returned to NCPB after a stint as PBS’s first chief content officer, said he was asked by the board of directors to “focus particular attention on content and related services, community engagement, and fundraising.”

No word in the press release about what the nonprofit NCPB will pay these people, but the organization’s most recent IRS 990 available (for the year 2007) showed that Durheim, then vp of marketing, was paid $261,147 plus $27,795 in benefits for a total of $288,942. He was the second highest paid NCPB employee that year. Nonprofits are required to list the salaries of their top five paid employees in Form 990, which is a public document.

The highest-paid employee that year, then-chief content officer Linda O’Bryon, received $282,360 in compensation and $28,942 in benefits for a total of $311,302.

Traci Eckels, vp of development, received a total of $198,417 in salary and benefits; Steve Welch, vp of operations and engineering, got $177,663, and KQED-FM general manager Jo Anne Wallace got $190,125.

The 2007 IRS report said NCPB had 232 employees who made over $50,000 a year.

NCPB listed $64.5 million in revenue and $62.0 million in expenses in the 2007 report.

Bay Area Media News


  1. Meanwhile, tiny KALW-FM is churning out superb news reporting and features daily, on less than no money. It's a shame they're saddled with the signal they have. But as more listeners shift to finding their content online, that will be less of a burden.

    As to the comment above about "clearing the old wood" at KQED: I'm afraid that would pretty much empty the place. It's been creatively stagnant for years. But with ratings like theirs – and it's hard to imagine better – there's no impetus to change.

  2. I miss the days when KQED and NPR did real, independent investigative reporting. Too bad they have gone so corporate.

    The only place left in media today to find "fearless" investigative news is with Mother Jones Magazine.

    Sorry, KQED. I don't find your station or programming compelling any longer.

  3. KQED should read the salaries of its top executives during every pledge drive so that viewers know where their money is going!

  4. As a KQED employee, it's hard to accept a one-week furlough when you see those ridiculous salaries for people who barely put in a 40-hour week (unless you include attending social galas and cocktail parties as work)!

  5. O'Byron is gone. And she won't be the last one. This time it's not cost cutting, but clearing out the old wood.

  6. Having spent most my life in Boston and watching WGBH, I was disappointed to see how little local programming was being done by KQED-TV. Most of what Channel 9 is airing I can catch from any PBS station. It's the local content that makes a station useful. I went to their offices once to apply for a job, and the place struck me as a big bureaucracy, like the DMV or the Labor Department. Very politically correct but nobody was really doing anything. I didn't even hand them my resume, I knew I didn't want to work in an uncreative place like that.

    In the years ahead, KQED-TV will have big problems. Demand will be high for local programs. Since KQED-TV is either incapable or unwilling to produce much of that, donors will ask themselves if their dollars will go further supporting other broadcasters, producers, filmmakers, etc.

    Ultimately, I can't see how they can support such a large payroll or budget by just passing a PBS schedule on to viewers without much local origination.

  7. O'Bryon is out. She no longer works at KQED. As for 'local content' being code for 'LGBT and leftist documentaries,' local content at KQED TV is 'This Week in Northern California,' 'QUEST,' 'Spark,' and 'Check Please Bay Area,' all award-winning programs.

  8. It appears that Boland is also shifting the branding of his organization … press releases up until this one have referred to Northern California Public Broadcasting, but that phrase is not used in this one. The organization is called "KQED Public Media" throughout.

    BTW, extensive Googling finds no mention anywhere of O'Bryon leaving NCPB … her bio was still on the KQED site as of June 4, which would seem to indicate she left sometime in the last two weeks. So, Dave's phrase "didn't suggest anybody was sacked or demoted" might be inaccurate.


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