BBG Watch Commentary

BBGMeetings_Red-300x229The Broadcasting Board of Governors Board meeting will start at 9:30 AM on Thursday. If you have not registered to attend it and speak as a member of the public, we hope you can still watch it live online on the BBG website. The meeting will include a special panel of award-winning media executives discussing digital storytelling techniques.

Committee for U.S. International Broadcasting (CUSIB – Executive Director Ann Noonan and Chinese writer and democracy activist Wei Jingsheng, who had spent a total of 18 years as a political prisoner in China, are expected to address the BBG Board as members of the public. CUSIB is an independent NGO which supports U.S.-funded international media outreach, especially to countries without free press. CUSIB also urges more news outreach to underprivileged and repressed populations and groups.

Wei Jingsheng authored the essay, “Fifth Modernization,” which was posted on the “Democracy Wall” in Beijing in 1978. He was deported to the United States in 1997. He was awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award in 1996, the National Endowment for Democracy Award in 1997, the Olof Palme Memorial Prize in 1994, and the International Activist Award by the Gleitsman Foundation.

Respected journalist and media executive Andrew Lack, who had been selected by the Broadcasting Board of Governors to be the agency’s CEO, met in New York earlier this month with members of the CUSIB Advisory Board. CUSIB members also had met with BBG Chairman Jeff Shell to discuss the importance of U.S. international media outreach for those who are denied freedom of expression and access to uncensored news and to urge management reforms at the BBG.


We repost BBG news releases as a public service.



Board To Meet, Convene Storytelling Panel

OCTOBER 22, 2014

WASHINGTON – The Broadcasting Board of Governors will meet at its Washington, D.C. headquarters on October 30, 2014. In addition to Board business, the meeting will include a special panel of award-winning media executives discussing digital storytelling techniques.

The public may attend any or all of these sessions in person by registering here by 12:00 p.m. (EDT) on October 29.  The meeting will also be streamed live on the BBG website,

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Additional information, including any updates or adjustments to its starting time, will be posted on the BBG website.

Minutes, documents and a video recording will be available after the meeting concludes. For more information, please contact BBG Public Affairs at (202) 203-4400 or by e-mail at


What Is The Secret To Media Brand Loyalty? Storytelling In The Digital Age

OCTOBER 21, 2014

From hard-hitting journalism to documentary films that capture the essence of a historic event, powerful stories can engage audiences and focus their attention.

The growth of digital platforms – from streaming video to social media – has put storytelling on the global stage and given audiences the ability to amplify, connect and act like never before.

Join the BBG on October 30 at 10:15 as it explores this topic with a panel of award-winning media executives.

They will discuss:

  • How great stories are created and disseminated in the digital world.
  • How storytellers can responsibly use the power of digital media to engage and focus audience attention in responding to the challenges of our age.
  • How today’s storytellers are building deep loyalty with connected audiences, and how this is changing the larger media industry.


Ben Silverman
, Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning show creator and media executive, is Founder and Chairman of Electus, a next-generation studio.  His extensive executive producing credits include “The Office,” “Ugly Betty,” “The Biggest Loser” as well as “The Tudors” among many others.

Soledad O’Brien,Founder and CEO of Starfish Media Group, is an award-winning journalist,  news anchor and producer.  SMG is a multi-platform media production and distribution company, dedicated to uncovering and producing empowering stories that take a look at the often divisive issues of race, class, and wealth, including the series for CNN “Black in America” and “Latino in America.”

Morgan Valentine Spurlock, Founder and President of Warrior Poets production studio, is the producer of Sundance Film Festival winner for best director Super Size Me, FX series 30 Days and the films Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?, Confessions of a Superhero, Czech Dream.

Nancy Dubuc, President and CEO of A&E Networks, which is home of two of the top ten entertainment brands, HISTORY and A&E, and two of the leading women’s brands in Lifetime and LMN.  Named by Fortune Magazine as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, she has won multiple Emmy awards and nominations.

Frank Cooper III, Chief Marketing Officer, Global Consumer Engagement PepsiCo, Inc., is listed as #15 on Billboard Magazine’s 2014 “Power List,” one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company Magazine, and is a recipient of ADCOLOR’s coveted “Legend” award.

Charlie Corwin, Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, Endemol North America is a leading entertainment executive and award-winning film and TV producer.  He is the creator of multiple series including “Miami Ink” for TLC and its popular spinoffs, “LA Ink” and “NY Ink,” as well as the breakout success “Swamp People” for History.

Howard Thomas Owens, Former President of Nat Geo Channels U.S., is credited with taking the channel into the scripted programming arena with the long-form adaptations of Bill O’Reilly’s books “Killing Kennedy,” “Killing Lincoln” and the upcoming “Killing Jesus.” He spearheaded the launch of series franchises including “Wicked Tuna,” “Brain Games,” and “Life Below Zero”.