BBG Watch Commentary

Jeff Shell
Jeff Shell
Susan McCue
Susan McCue

Broadcasting Board of Government (BBG) new Chairman Jeff Shell was visiting the Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) headquarters in Prague, the Czech Republic, when the announcement of extending Kevin Klose’s contract as RFE/RL President and CEO was made.

A key role of recruiting Klose and keeping him at RFE/RL beyond his initial one-year contract as Acting President and CEO was played by RFE/RL Board Chair and BBG member Susan McCue.

Sources told BBG Watch that Shell was also strongly in favor of keeping Klose in charge of RFE/RL.

McCue was in the United States when the announcement was made.

Shell and McCue issued the following statement to RFE/RL staff.

Acting Head Kevin Klose Appointed RFE/RL President And CEO

We are pleased to announce that Acting President and CEO Kevin Klose has accepted our offer, unanimously supported by the BBG in its role as the Board of Directors of RFE/RL, Inc., to serve as President and CEO of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. President Klose agreed to serve on a multi-year contract that will be reviewed annually.

I’m sure you will agree with us and our colleagues that Kevin is the right person to carry out this critical mission. His stewardship since rejoining RFE/RL in January has brought steady progress. We look forward to working with Kevin and the talented team at RFE/RL to bring news and information to priority countries from Iran to Russia and across Eurasia.

As you know, Kevin was president of NPR from 1998 to 2008, and named President Emeritus in 2008. Before joining NPR, he directed the International Broadcasting Bureau at the U.S. Information Agency from 1997-1998. Kevin first joined RFE/RL in 1992 as director of its Radio Liberty division, and as president of the network from 1994 to 1997 oversaw its relocation from Munich to Prague. Prior to this, he was an editor and reporter for The Washington Post for 25 years, including posts as Moscow bureau chief, city editor and deputy national editor. Kevin is currently a tenured professor at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland and served as dean of the journalism college from April 2009 to July 2012. He will be on leave from his faculty position while serving at RFE/RL. He earned a B.A. from Harvard and is the author of five books, including Russia and the Russians: Inside the Closed Society.

Please join us in congratulating President Klose on his appointment.

Jeffrey Shell, Chairman, U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors
Susan McCue, Chair, RFE/RL Board of Directors and Member, U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors