Shapiro To Succeed Baker at Educational Broadcasting Corp.

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Former network news veteran and NBC News President Neal Shapiro will succeed Bill Baker as president of Educational Broadcasting Corp., the licensee of WNET and WLIW New York.

Shapiro will take over as president next month.  Baker, who has spent two decades in the post, will remain CEO until February 2008 to shepherd the transition.

Shapiro most recently was teaching at Tufts (his alma mater) and the Columbia School of Journalism. Before that he was NBC News President from June 2001 to September 2005. His resume also includes overseeing news and MSNBC, the syndicated Chris Matthews Show, Dateline, and for various ABC News shows, where he began his career.

Will Shapiro move the station into more news programming?  "Not necessarily," he says. "I think I'd like to do some of that, but the attraction for me was not doing just the things that were in the narrow world of news.

"When I was at Dateline [1993 to 2001], we were on so much that we could do stories about science, behavioral stories, arts, but never the kind of range that I would like to do--and that I think public broadcasting can do."

How hands-on will Shapiro be in terms of shaping programming? "I think I'll have an impact, but I've got to learn my way around."

He'll have a good teacher that's a tough act to follow. Baker, a B&C Hall of Famer, put his imprint on shows including Charlie Rose, American Masters, Religion & Ethics, The Mind, among others.

WNET is one of a handful of anchor programmers for PBS.