LEWISTON – Maine Public announces that longtime vice president for Radio and Television Content, Charles Beck, is stepping down in January after a 40-year career with the network.
After graduating with a double major in Broadcasting and Music at the University of Maine and a brief stint in commercial radio, Beck found a home as a reporter, announcer and classical music host in 1980 with what was called then MPBN Radio.
In those early years, Beck took on many producer and host duties, including Midday, Evening Concert, Afternoon Concert, Morning Classical Music and Music from Studio B, among others. Beck was also instrumental in developing other musical formats at the network, including New Age with Earthtones (later replaced by Echoes), and the singer-songwriter format with Sometimes Acoustic (that evolved into In Tune with Sara Willis).
Beck’s most visible role was as host and producer of the popular early morning weekday program Bed & Breakfast (later Morning Edition) in the 1980s. The program was a combination of music, news, interviews, live performances and humor. In 1988, Beck took a leave of absence and earned a master’s degree in Communication Management in the Midwest. Upon his return, Beck turned his attention to management and programming, ultimately overseeing content on both Maine Public Radio and Maine Public Television.
“I feel both grateful and honored to have had the opportunity to play a role over all these years in helping make this valued public service available for the people of Maine,” observed Beck.
Beck stewarded the station through the transition of being a mostly government-funded operation to one that relies predominantly on listener support, helped launch an entirely new radio network, Maine Public Classical, and worked to expand access to Maine Public’s varied content on digital and streaming platforms.
“In his close to 40-year tenure with Maine Public, Charles Beck brought his exceptional vision for television and radio programming to our statewide audience. Through his efforts, we have maintained enviable audience ratings, broadened our content offerings by adding a Classical Radio Network and continued to set a high standard for our broadcast services,” stated Clare Hannan, Maine Public’s chief operating officer. “Charles’s leadership and dedication have helped bring Maine Public to a high level of excellence and positioned us well for future decades. We are grateful for his service and wish him all the best in his retirement.”