Boston Pops to produce July 4 events

Boston Pops to produce July 4 events

Details yet to come on sponsorships, broadcast

THE BOSTON POPS announced on Monday that it is going to take over production of the July 4 Esplanande events next year.

In a press release, the Pops also said it will take over the management of Boston 4 Productions, which has produced the event for the last 43 years. The company’s two executive producers, Pamela Ricard and Richard MacDonald, will continue to plan and manage the event under the direction of Pops officials. David Mugar, the longtime executive producer of the event, announced his retirement last spring but intends to remain in an advisory role.

The press release issued by the Boston Pops quoted Mugar, Pops conductor Keith Lockhart, Gov. Charlie Baker, and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh as hailing the new  production arrangement but offered few details on next year’s event.  Details about sponsorships and broadcast partners are expected to be announced later this fall.

Lockhart said in the press release that all those involved will make sure the event “moves forward in the style and scope to which our fellow Bostonians and visitors from around the country and across the globe have become accustomed.”

MacDonald, one of the two executive producers at Boston 4 Productions, could not be reached for comment Monday. In a telephone interview last week, he declined to say how the July 4 event would be managed next year. He said it would be premature to say the event might be scaled back, as the head of the Department of Conservation and Recreation had suggested in a recent interview with CommonWealth.  The Department of Conservation and Recreation owns the Esplanade, where the July 4 celebration is held.

Leo Roy, the DCR commissioner, said in an interview on September 26 that there were a lot of conversations going on about how the July 4 event would be managed in the future. He said no decisions had been made at that time, but hinted that some changes might be in the works.

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Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

“In some ways, it might be nice to do something a little different for next year. It might be a different event. Certainly we’re going to celebrate the Fourth of July on the Esplanade, I can assure you of that. But will it be the same kind of production that David Mugar was generous enough to offer to the people of the region for many years?  Probably not, and that’s probably not a bad thing,” Roy said. “In recent years, it’s gotten quite elaborate with basically two days of  concerts, a nationally televised production, and headline talent and that kind of thing. That definitely adds to the expense and complication of the event.”

The Boston Pops is part of the Boston Symphony Orchestra organization. The BSO’s annual report said the organization reported a modest operating surplus of $118,000 in the fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2015. The organization reported revenues of $87.1 million and expenses of $87 million for the year. The value of the organization’s endowment fell from $474.9 million in fiscal 2014 to $450.3 million in fiscal 2015.