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After a lengthy nationwide search to find J. Michael Collins' successor, Dallas public broadcasting executive Donald K. Boswell on Tuesday was named president and chief executive officer of Western New York Public Broadcasting Association.

Boswell, 46, who is second in command as the executive vice president and chief operating officer of North Texas Public Broadcasting in Dallas, will assume his new duties full time in early January.

Collins, who announced his retirement in February after 32 years running Channel 17, Channel 23, WNED-AM, WNED-FM and WNJA-FM, will stay on until at least January.

Mary Ann Lauricella, board chairwoman of the public broadcast association, said the board was impressed with Boswell's "experience in underwriting, fund-raising and program development."

Boswell's experiences with budgets and in putting together the conversion to digital television at his Dallas stations also made him an attractive candidate, she said.

"He's very familiar with leading-edge technology," said Ms. Lauricella. "He has a lot of enthusiasm and a terrific, outgoing personality."

A graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a management-development certificate from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, Boswell has had a 20-year career in public broadcasting and has been with the Dallas stations since 1982. Prior to that, he worked in marketing, corporate development and underwriting for public stations in Seattle and Pittston, Pa.

"This has always been a long-term goal of mine," Boswell said of being in charge. "This is one of my dreams, and I'm thrilled to fulfill it here."

Boswell, who is married and the father of one daughter, is enthusiastic about the public stations here.

"I was pleased with the vision that the board wanted for the future," Boswell said. "It's got a lot of potential, especially since it serves the Canadian market and is in New York State.

"Mike Collins has built a fabulous operation here, and we're looking to the future for the sorts of programs that can be produced out of Buffalo, either for public television or cable," Boswell said.

Of course, Boswell will be called on to do one of the things that made Collins famous -- participating in television fund drives.

"I've done it," Boswell said. "I clearly come through the lines of fund-raising. I'm sure I'll be doing some of it here."

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