In a joint statement Monday, Boston University (BU), which owns WBUR’s broadcast license, and Kravetz said he will relinquish his day-to-day role at the station this week, but will step down effective June 30.
According to the station website, Sam Fleming, WBUR managing director of news and programming, will oversee operations until a permanent GM has been hired. BU says it will launch a nationwide search “in the upcoming days.”
BU says Kravetz is moving on at “an appropriate time for a transition.” WBUR’s new multimedia community venue, CitySpace, has just opened. And station journalists recently voted overwhelmingly to form a union.
“These periods are ones where you reflect on how you’re going to work going forward and we agreed with Charlie that this was an appropriate time to make a leadership change as well,” Gary Nicksa, BU’s vice president of operations, said in an interview.
In a statement of his own, Kravetz said his eight years at WBUR have been the best in his 40-year career.
The news was announced Monday at an all-staff meeting. Kravetz was not present at the meeting. Nicksa faced a number of questions about why Kravetz is leaving, why he was not there, and why he will only be coming into the station on an as needed basis between now and June 30, when his employment ends.
Several station employees asked if Kravetz is being forced out because of the union vote. Nicksa said no. Union organizers said they were surprised by Kravetz’s departure.
After leadership roles at WCVB-TV and NECN-TV, Kravetz, 66, joined WBUR as general manager in 2010. During his tenure — a period marked by upheaval in media — the station expanded its budget, programming, physical space and staff. The station’s operating revenue increased 91 percent to $39.5 million over his eight-year tenure, according to BU, and WBUR added 61 staffers over that period. The station’s footprint more than doubled in size with an expansion that included a new studio.