CCO: Expect the unexpected from Michigan Public Media
As the new chief content officer (CCO) for Michigan Public Media, Todd Mundt says he wants to give people the unexpected.
To do that, the 37-year-old former radio host of "Morning Edition" and the "Todd Mundt Show" could be coming to you for some ideas and help.
Mundt had his last day as host Jan. 28 after more than seven years on "Morning Edition" and six years as host of his own show. His promotion officially starts Feb. 1.
Mundt says his main priority is promoting locally produced public television programming. Mundt says he wants the help of local organizations and University people to develop interesting and intellectual television programming.
Michigan Public Media oversees Michigan Radio, Michigan Television, Michigan Television 2 and associated Web sites.
"We want to take pieces of the PBS schedule that work for our viewers and add to them quality programs that we produce to create a schedule that is more compelling," Mundt says. "We have to show that we are going to be something else other than a PBS station. I believe that public broadcasting belongs at the center of American cultural and civic life. It's my goal to ensure that it takes its rightful place there."
The creation of the CCO position gives MPM one person overseeing programming for all of its broadcast outlets. Michigan Radio and Michigan Television merged to become Michigan Public Media in June 2002. Public broadcasting organizations in San Francisco and Cleveland also have created chief content officer positions.
"I'm delighted that Todd has agreed to take this critically important new role," says Donovan Reynolds, director of Michigan Public Media. "He has the intellectual depth, the programming vision, and the commitment to public service broadcasting to successfully lead Michigan Public Media into the digital age."
In addition to his programming role, Mundt will be responsible for the organization's strategic planning, including looking for new ways to interact with audiences using emerging technologies. Mundt says an example of adapting to audiences would be to allow radio listeners to download past interviews onto their iPods and MP3 players or making the Web site more interesting.
In addition to his new responsibilities as CCO, Mundt will continue on-air at Michigan Radio and Michigan Television in a variety of capacities, conducting interviews, participating in fundraisers and making public appearances.
Michigan Radio's Bill Poorman will take over as interim host of "Morning Edition." A short, taped conversation between Mundt and Poorman aired today (Jan. 31) discussing the change.
Poorman was previously the station's business reporter and director of local production for Michigan Television. He came to Michigan Radio five years ago.
"Bill has been a recognized voice in Michigan Radio's newsroom for years," station manager Jon Hoban says. "He has regularly substituted for Todd with tremendous success and will do a great job."
Mundt's new job will take him out of the studio, but he's not planning to jump into a typical desk-job role. He still expects to get up earlyhe'd usually be up about 3 a.m. during his morning show daysand head to a local coffee shop to work on his laptop and surf the Internet.
Mundt says he loves Michigan Radio, which he claims has a winning mix of local and national programming. But he's not resting on his laurels: "It's one of those things that you can be too complacent about because it just works. You can always make things better."