In mid-July, The Boston Globe reported that Boston’s NPR affiliate WBUR was laying off their long-time arts critic Bill Marx. They also reported that the art criticism section of their website would also be phased out, while keeping the calendar.
The Globe quoted Sam Fleming, WBUR’s managing director of news and programming:
“We will focus more on news and issues related to arts, as opposed to all criticism,” he said. The website “will be more integrated into and synchronized with the broadcasts.”
“Bill did a great job,” said Fleming. “It was a good service for people who really like in-depth criticism and commentary in the arts. There’s a role for that, it just isn’t completely tied into what our main mission is.”
With the departure of Marx, Andrea Shea will take over reporting on the arts full-time for the station. Shea had previously worked for WBUR as a freelancer for the station.
In an email exchange, Shea says enthusiastically: “I am so eager to cover visual arts in refreshing ways.”
Shea began her broadcasting career working at various NPR affiliates, and in 1997 began work at WGBH, working for their international show “The World”. She started at WBUR in 1998 as a producer for “Here and Now”, where she developed the arts segment of the show, until 2004 when she was laid of in an earlier shakeup of WBUR’s arts coverage. Since then, she has freelanced for NPR, “The World” and WBUR, producing arts segments on a wide range of topics. We look forward to the new direction she will take WBUR’s arts coverage.