Bill Proposes Eliminating Broadcast Board Of Governors' Board, Giving CEO More Power
December 2, 2016 at 6:05 AM (PT)
The BROADCASTING BOARD OF GOVERNORS may be undergoing a major change in how it operates with the inclusion of a provision in a defense authorization bill this week that would eliminate the BBG's nine-member board and concentrate power in the organization's CEO position.
BROADCASTING AND CABLE's JOHN EGGERTON reports that the move was in response to the organization's request in testimony before Congress last year to give CEO JOHN LANSING more power and let the group have more flexibility for funding. The House version of the bill included authorization for the CEO to spend, hire, and consolidate RADIO FREE EUROPE/RADIO LIBERTY, RADIO FREE ASIA, and the MIDDLE EAST BROADCASTING NETWORKS as independent non-profit companies; the Senate version did not include that provision but offered an amendment that added notification requirements and an advisory board. An additional provision in the House version that would have changed the VOICE OF AMERICA from a federal operation to an independent non-federal corporation was deleted.
The bill, the result of a bi-cameral committee agreement, is expected to go to the floor in the House and the Senate next week. In the meantime, even though the BBG board is being proposed for elimination, President OBAMA has sent his nomination of former TIME Managing Editor and current State Department Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs RICHARD STENGEL to the Senate to assume the unexpired term of SUSAN MCCUE and succeed UNIVERSAL FILMED ENTERTAINMENT GROUP Chairman JEFF SHELL as Chairman of the BBG board.