WGBH Boston GM Phil Redo Sets Retirement Plans
Redo will remain in place until a replacement is named capping off a 40+ year in nearly all facets of the radio industry. He began his career as an on-air talent, before moving into programming where he was the first PD for “106.7 Lite-FM” WLTW New York from 1983-1986. After serving as OM for WMEX/WMJX Boston he moved into the General Manager position at “93.9 Lite-FM” WLIT Chicago. After four years as Vice President of MJI Programming for Premiere Radio Networks, he moved to public radio as Vice President of Operations and Strategy for WNYC New York. He later served as GM for Greater Media Boston before joining WGBH first as a advisor in 2009 before taking the GM Role.
Following a decade of leadership at public media producer WGBH, Phil Redo today announced his plans to retire from his position as General Manager for Radio and Local News next summer (July 2020). He has presided over the significant growth of WGBH’s radio stations and audiences on WGBH Radio 89.7, 99.5 WCRB Classical Radio Boston, and WCAI, the Cape and Islands NPR Station, and built a news department that has become an essential source of trusted information for the region.
“Phil has expanded our public service mission, effectively responding to the appetite for public radio in our communities, and substantially increasing the options for audiences through appealing programs and opportunities for engagement with civic leaders, and with one another,” says WGBH President Jon Abbott. “WGBH has benefitted enormously from his strategic vision, energy and enthusiasm, and as a result our stations are poised for continued future growth and success.”
Redo will continue with his current responsibilities through next summer while WGBH conducts a search for his successor.
“I am so fortunate to lead this team of extraordinarily talented colleagues and to have had a hand in building our stations and a thriving news service for audiences across the region,” says Redo. “I love this work, but after four decades in the business, I’m looking ahead to undertaking some projects of my own. I want to have time to write, and to be an active participant in community life.”
Redo joined WGBH as a consultant in 2009 and was instrumental in the launch of WGBH 89.7 FM’s all-news and information format. In 2011 he was hired as Managing Director, then in 2014 was promoted to General Manager for Radio and Local News. He spent three decades in both public and commercial radio before joining WGBH. He served as vice president and general manager of Greater Media Boston, a five-station FM radio group, and prior to that, he was with public radio station WNYC in New York where he was Vice President of Operations and Corporate Strategy. He also worked for Premiere Radio Networks in New York, and Viacom Radio in Chicago and New York.
At WGBH, he created an integrated newsroom across WGBH 89.7 FM radio, WGBH 2 TV and www.wgbhnews.org on the web, starting with a small team that is now one of the largest among the country’s NPR stations. He contributed important additions to the local journalism landscape with the focused reporting of the Higher Education and K-12 Desks, the opening of a news bureau in Dorchester, and partnerships with the New England Center for Investigative Reporting and The GroundTruth Project. He spotlighted local technology expertise by launching Innovation Hub with Kara Miller and highlighted the lesser-known stories across Boston’s neighborhoods with Under the Radar with Callie Crossley.
The WGBH News team set a new standard for election coverage during last year’s mid-term elections with an unprecedented twelve debates with candidates for local, state and federal office, as well as special reporting on all the ballot initiatives. Under Redo, the station has led the way in local civil discourse, accountability and access to civic leaders with monthly public call-in radio conversations with the governor, mayor, attorney general and police commissioner.
Redo’s experience in the Boston market enabled him to tap local talent when opportunities arose to bring experienced professionals from other media to WGBH, including Jim Braude and Margery Eagan who host WGBH 89.7’s popular midday show Boston Public Radio, political reporters Peter Kadzis and David Bernstein, and WGBH’s Morning Edition host Joe Mathieu, along with a wide diversity of reporters and editors. He also played a key role in establishing WGBH’s first-in-the-nation broadcast studio in the Boston Public Library.
Redo created a strategic focus for 99.5 WCRB with station manager Anthony Rudel, transforming 99.5 to one of the highest-share classical stations in the country, with original programming covering 167 out of 168 hours each week. Under his guidance WCAI, WGBH’s Cape and Islands station, with locally-based programs like Living Lab with Heather Goldstone, has become an ever more vital voice for communities on the Cape, coast and islands.