Former CPB, BBG Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson Dies
May 5, 2014 at 5:28 AM (PT)
Former CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING and BROADCASTING BOARD OF GOVERNORS Chairman KENNETH Y. TOMLINSON died THURSDAY (5/1) at 69.
TOMLINSON, who began his career at the RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, was a longtime editor and correspondent at READER'S DIGEST before becoming the Director of the VOICE OF AMERICA in 1982-84, and returned to serve as Managing Editor, Executive Editor, and Editor-in-Chief of READER'S DIGEST in 1984-96. After serving as Chairman of the NATIONAL COMMISSION ON LIBRARIES AND INFORMATION in 1986-87, TOMLINSON was nominated by President REAGAN to the Chair of the BOARD FOR INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING in 1987 and served as Chairman through the BIB's dissolution in 1994. He was Chairman of the CPB in 2003-05 and Chairman of the BBG in 2002-07. In addition, TOMLINSON was a director of the VOA in 1982-94.
TOMLINSON's tenure at the CPB was highly controversial, marked by clashes over his perceived intention to make public broadcasting more conservative and accusations of political favoritism, ending with TOMLINSON's resignation in 2005 after a report by the CPB's Inspector General accused TOMLINSON of exerting political influence on personnel matters. He was also accused in another report of using his BBG position to spend money for his own personal use and using his time to oversee a stable of thoroughbreds, which he said was minor and did not affect his work on the board; he left the BBG in 2007.
In a press release, BBG Chairman JEFF SHELL said, “KEN TOMLINSON brought a tremendous amount of journalistic experience to his work here, and that showed in his achievements, He was well regarded by many for having a keen sense of the news. He launched important projects in response to the information needs of audiences abroad. We send our condolences to his loved ones and former colleagues.”