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Obama nominates Matthew C. Armstrong to serve on Broadcasting Board of Governors

Obama nominates Matthew C. Armstrong to serve on Broadcasting Board of Governors

BBG Watch Commentary President Obama announced his intent to nominate Matthew C. Armstrong to serve as a member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the bipartisan federal board in charge of U.S. international broadcasting. The board is now down to five members, instead of nine, and has as its Interim Presiding Governor, Michael Lynton, wh...

Susan McCue elected Chair of RFE/RL Board, Victor Ashe elected Vice-Chair

Susan McCue elected Chair of RFE/RL Board, Victor Ashe elected Vice-Chair

BBG Watch Commentary Two Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) members who have been some of the strongest supporters of reforms at Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) were elected today (April 10, 2013) to lead the RFE/RL corporate board. Susan McCue has become RFE/RL Corporate Board Chair and Ambassador Victor Ashe  RFE/RL Corpor...

BBG Summary of Appropriations FY 2012 – FY 2014

BBG Summary of Appropriations FY 2012 – FY 2014

The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) requests $731.08 million for FY 2014: $722.58 million for International Broadcasting Operations and $8.50 million for Broadcasting Capital Improvements. Print PDFby

BBG Press Release: BBG Budget Request Reflects Strategic Priorities And Global Media Environment

BBG Press Release: BBG Budget Request Reflects Strategic Priorities And Global Media Environment

BBG Watch is reposting a BBG Press Release on FY 2014 BBG Budget Request. It is worth noting that the press release does not mention the proposed elimination of Voice of America (VOA) radio programs to Iran. BBG Budget Request Reflects Strategic Priorities And Global Media Environment Washington, DC – The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) today...

2014 Obama budget eliminates Voice of America radio to Iran, reduces radio to Afghanistan, cuts positions

2014 Obama budget eliminates Voice of America radio to Iran, reduces radio to Afghanistan, cuts positions

BBG Commentary The Voice of America (VOA) director David Ensor has announced that President Obama’s FY 2014 budget proposal includes elimination of VOA radio broadcasts to Iran and a cut in VOA radio to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Ensor did not announce any specific cuts in executive positions at VOA or at the International Broadcasting Bureau ...

Resignation of Dennis Mulhaupt from BBG was sudden, strange, unexplained

Resignation of Dennis Mulhaupt from BBG was sudden, strange, unexplained

BBG Watch Commentary Sources tell BBG Watch that the resignation on Tuesday of Dennis Mulhaupt from the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) was sudden, strange and unexplained. As late as Monday, Mulhaupt was telling staffers that he would participate in BBG’s meetings on Wednesday and Thursday by phone. In his letter to President Obama, he...

Dennis Mulhaupt leaves BBG, no quorum if Michael Lynton continues to be a no show at meetings

Dennis Mulhaupt leaves BBG, no quorum if Michael Lynton continues to be a no show at meetings

BBG Watch Commentary A Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) member Dennis Mulhaupt has informed the White House that he is resigning from the bipartisan board in charge of U.S. international broadcasting. If the BBG’s absentee Interim Presiding Governor Michael Lynton continues to be a no show at future board meetings, the BBG will no longer...

VOA Director Ensor blamed for expanding bureaucracy while reducing programs to Iran

VOA Director Ensor blamed for expanding bureaucracy while reducing programs to Iran

BBG Watch Commentary Voice of America (VOA) Director David Ensor announced last week that  that cross-border VOA radio transmissions to Afghanistan, China, Iran and several other nations are being cut or reduced to achieve budget savings. David Ensor also participated recently in a meeting designed to improve dismal employee morale. But as one...

Liberty Media Corporation should also honor fired Radio Liberty Russian journalists

Liberty Media Corporation should also honor fired Radio Liberty Russian journalists

BBG Watch Commentary Liberty Media Corporation, a for-profit group of American media industry investors, is giving its $50,000 Media for Liberty Award in a ceremony in Washington, DC on April 10. Masha Gessen, a Russian-American journalist who since October 2012 has been the director of the Russian Service of Radio Liberty, will receive the award. ...

Sequestration Prompts Attempt to Silence U.S. Radio Broadcasting

Sequestration Prompts Attempt to Silence U.S. Radio Broadcasting

“Again, the BBG has demonstrated why it is a broken institution, unfit to handle the U.S. government’s most important public diplomacy tool: its broadcasting complex. Congress needs to act, soon, to give U.S. international broadcasting a leadership with the proper priorities,”  wrote Helle Dale of the Heritage Foundation,...

Media Freedom in the European Neighborhood:  Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova

Media Freedom in the European Neighborhood: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova

The Embassy of the Czech Republic and Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) invite you to a Panel Discussion on  Media Freedom in the European Neighborhood: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova Featuring 2013 Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellows Irina Gotisan, Seda Stepanyan and Tahmina Taghiyeva Moderated by David Kramer President of Freedom House In...

Digital Journal Op-Ed: America could learn from rappers' tribute to Radio Free Europe

Digital Journal Op-Ed: America could learn from rappers' tribute to Radio Free Europe

Digital Journal Op-Ed: America could learn from rappers’ tribute to Radio Free Europe by Ted Lipien Truckee - Led by Peja of the Polish rap group Slums Attack, Europe’s rappers recorded a multilingual tribute to political and cultural freedom message of the American-funded station Radio Free Europe. Using historical film footage of...

Bulat Atabayev – Radio Liberty Kazakh Service stopped radio programs and became a tabloid website

Bulat Atabayev – Radio Liberty Kazakh Service stopped radio programs and became a tabloid website

BBG Watch Commentary Prominent Kazakh theater director and former political prisoner Bulat Atabayev joined other Kazakh opposition leaders in criticizing Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) for stopping radio broadcasts to Kazakhstan and turning its Kazakh website into a tabloid journalism outlet. Atabayev, who had visited this week the RFE/RL...

Czech newspaper wonders if BBG Watch is right about imminent reforms at RFE/RL

Czech newspaper wonders if BBG Watch is right about imminent reforms at RFE/RL

BBG Watch Commentary Lidove Noviny, a daily Czech newspaper, published a commentary wondering whether the new acting Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) president Kevin Klose is taking steps to end discrimination against foreign journalists working at the U.S. taxpayer-supported media freedom institution. A Lidove Noviny commentator, Leonid ...

Generous bonuses for poorly performing SES executives at Broadcasting Board of Governors draw criticism

Generous bonuses for poorly performing SES executives at Broadcasting Board of Governors draw criticism

BBG Watch Commentary A list of cash bonuses given to the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB), the Voice of America (VOA), and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB) employees in FY 2012 shows that nearly 100% percent of already highly-paid SES executives at these federal entities have received bonuses that were thousands of dollars higher than c...

U.S. court rules a contract employee can bring claims of discrimination against Broadcasting Board of Governors

U.S. court rules a contract employee can bring claims of discrimination against Broadcasting Board of Governors

BBG Watch Commentary In yet another defeat for the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) General Counsel (GC) Office, the federal District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that Radio Sawa’s purchase order vendors (or POVs) could be considered “employees” and thus bring claims of discrimination under Title VII and the Rehabilitation Act. Rad...

Russian media report on departures of RFE/RL managers

Russian media report on departures of RFE/RL managers

BBG Watch Commentary The Russian investigative journalism magazine Sovershenno Sekretno is reporting on the departure of two Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) managers. The headline, “Top-mededzhery Radio Svoboda, prichastnye k massovym uvol’neniiam v Russkoi sluzhbe, otpravleny v otstavku,” links them with the mass dismissals ...

Two vice presidents departed Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

Two vice presidents departed Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty

BBG Watch Commentary Dale Cohen, Vice President of Administration at Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) since November 2011, and Beth Portale, Vice President and Chief of Staff to former RFE/RL President Steven Korn, have resigned from the U.S.-funded media freedom broadcaster. Their bios have been removed from the RFE/RL website. Since Jan...

Broadcasting Board of Governors – Information War Lost: Dysfunctional and Defunct, Same As It Ever Was

Broadcasting Board of Governors – Information War Lost: Dysfunctional and Defunct, Same As It Ever Was

Broadcasting Board of Governors – Information War Lost: Dysfunctional and Defunct, Same As It Ever Was By The Federalist   We have borrowed a refrain from a Talking Heads song, “Once in a Lifetime” (with that fine, compact, thumping bass line played by Tina Weymouth).  Read on and you will see why.   On Thursday, March 21, 2013...

IBB invited speaker who mocked former BBG member Hillary Clinton; some BBG governors furious with IBB's Director Lobo

IBB invited speaker who mocked former BBG member Hillary Clinton; some BBG governors furious with IBB's Director Lobo

BBG Watch Commentary The International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) has invited and later announced it will disinvite a Roman Catholic priest and a social activist from Chicago Father Michael Pfleger, whom Barack Obama had criticized for “divisive, backward-looking rhetoric,” to speak at the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) “Div...

Employees angry with IBB Director Lobo

Employees angry with IBB Director Lobo

BBG Watch Commentary Jane Smith is one of our occasional anonymous contributors to BBG Watch from within the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the federal agency in charge of U.S. international broadcasting. She is reporting that the Voice of America (VOA) and the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) rank and file employees are visibly upse...

Voice of America – Broadcasting Board of Governors – has worst bosses, Federal Times reports

Voice of America – Broadcasting Board of Governors – has worst bosses, Federal Times reports

BBG Watch Commentary Federal Times reported that the Voice of America (VOA) has some of the worst bosses in the federal government based on surveys of government employees conducted by the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The survey results apply not just to the Voice of America but to all federal employees of the Broadcasting Board of...

BBG Interim Presiding Governor Michael Lynton is not confirming participation in April board meeting

BBG Interim Presiding Governor Michael Lynton is not confirming participation in April board meeting

BBG Watch Commentary Sources told BBG Watch that the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) Interim Presiding Governor Michael Lynton has not confirmed to the International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) executive staff whether he will attend the BBG open board meeting in April. Mr. Lynton has frequently missed board and committee meetings and was not pr...

Radio Liberty in Exile offers online election coverage in Russia

Radio Liberty in Exile offers online election coverage in Russia

BBG Watch Commentary Radio Liberty in Exile journalists — those who were fired last September by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) or resigned in protest — launched Sunday an impressive, live, online local elections coverage in Russia with streaming video (USTREAM), Google Hangout discussions, and YouTube video postings. The Radi...

U.S. reduces radio news broadcasts to Iran, Afghanistan, Belarus, China and other nations without free media

U.S. reduces radio news broadcasts to Iran, Afghanistan, Belarus, China and other nations without free media

BBG Watch Exclusive News and Commentary The United States is cutting or reducing radio news broadcasts to Afghanistan, Belarus, China, Iran and other nations without free media due to decreased funding for U.S. international broadcasting as a result of sequestration and, as some critics claim, also because of waste and mismanagement at the fed...

Tenzin Tethong to lead Radio Free Asia Tibetan Service

Tenzin Tethong to lead Radio Free Asia Tibetan Service

BBG Watch has learned that a distinguished leader and scholar Tenzin Tethong was chosen as the new Tibetan Service director at Radio Free Asia (RFA). Born in Tibet, he accompanied his family to India in 1959, a few months after the Dalai Lama had arrived there from Tibet. He has been living in the United States since 1995. The new Tibetan service d...

Kazakh political prisoner is unhappy with Radio Liberty programs

Kazakh political prisoner is unhappy with Radio Liberty programs

BBG Watch Commentary “By the way, it turns out that Azattyq (RFE/RL’s Kazakh Service) programs have drastically declined. There is neither political news nor political analysis.” – Kazakh poet and political prisoner Aron Atabek, March 2013 In a letter sent from prison in Kazakhstan, dissident, scholar, poet and writer Aron A...

Unilateral Disarmament: How the West Has Destroyed its Broadcasting to Russia

Unilateral Disarmament: How the West Has Destroyed its Broadcasting to Russia

A significant and well-researched analysis of Western broadcasting in Russia, written by British-Russian journalist, translator, writer and former BBC broadcaster Masha Karp, was published on the website of the UK-based Rights in Russia NGO. Her previous article on this subject, “The Radiant Digital Future,” was also published by Rights...

Morale boosting plan made some BBG employees highly skeptical

Morale boosting plan made some BBG employees highly skeptical

BBG Watch Commentary One employee said that he was literally sick in his stomach listening to and watching Internatinal Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) executives, who have made the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) the worst managed federal agency, explaining to the staff how IBB and VOA managers are being put in charge of improving employee morale ...

Under Gessen, Radio Liberty ceased to be frequently cited news source in Russia

Under Gessen, Radio Liberty ceased to be frequently cited news source in Russia

BBG Watch Commentary Warning from fired Radio Liberty journalists, media experts, sociologists opposition politicians and human rights activists in Russia proved to be right. After dozens of Radio Liberty star reporters had been fired last September by the previous Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) management, which then hired Masha Gessen a...

Broadcasting Board of Governors – Information War Lost: Dysfunctional, Defunct “Stupid News”

Broadcasting Board of Governors – Information War Lost: Dysfunctional, Defunct “Stupid News”

Broadcasting Board of Governors - Information War Lost: Dysfunctional, Defunct “Stupid News” by The Federalist   Anyone who has held a position in the stock market may be familiar with a term brokers use called “stupid news.” “Stupid news” generally refers to talk on the floor of the market or elsewhere that creates swings in in...

Czech Radio criticizes RFE/RL for mistreatment of foreign employees, new executive expected to act

Czech Radio criticizes RFE/RL for mistreatment of foreign employees, new executive expected to act

BBG Watch Commentary In an nationwide broadcast by the state-owned Czech radio station, Cesky Rozhlas Plus (Cro+), Anna Sabatova, Chairwoman of the Czech Helsinki Committee, sharply condemned the ongoing mistreatment of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) foreign personnel. Sources told BBG Watch that the newly-appointed RFE/RL president Kevin...

BBG executives and lawyers refuse to settle discrimination cases they know they will lose

BBG executives and lawyers refuse to settle discrimination cases they know they will lose

BBG Watch Commentary The union representing the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) employees, AFGE Local 1812, has been pointing out again and again that BBG executives and lawyers are wasting millions of U.S. taxpayers’ dollars by refusing to settle employee discrimination cases in which arbitrators and judges had already ruled multiple t...

Former president's top deputies leaving Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Former president's top deputies leaving Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

BBG Watch Commentary In the last six months, dozens of Radio Liberty journalists in Russia were fired without any warning, escorted by security guards and told they can’t say good bye to their audience, their pro-human rights programs were cancelled, gender offensive videos were produced, online audience in Russia took a deep dive along with ...

As Russian authorities raid human rights NGOs, RFE/RL websites were out of commission, offered minimal coverage

As Russian authorities raid human rights NGOs, RFE/RL websites were out of commission, offered minimal coverage

BBG Watch Commentary Big changes may soon be announced at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), but for now this once premier media freedom news organization, which has been nearly destroyed by the previous management team, remains incapable of timely and comprehensive coverage of human rights stories in Russia, with some of the discredited man...

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