The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) open meeting has just started and can be viewed live online. BBG Governor Dana Perino has again, possibly for the tenth time, missed the meeting.
The meeting is presided by Governor Mulhaupt with Governor Mulhaupt being present as well.
The BBG Governors had met earlier with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Governor Victor Ashe made a point of calling the calling the death of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya as a “murder” rather than “passing.”
Victor Ashe also changed his earlier vote on the non-disclosure of deliberative information from “yes” to “no.”
Governor Mulhaupt announced that the Governance Committee approved the creation of the CEO of U.S. international broadcasting. Governor Mulhaupt noted that Secretary of State Clinton supports this proposal. He also noted that Governor Ashe initially opposed it. Ashe insisted that the selection process for the CEO should not start until there is a clear approval from the Congress.
Later in the meeting,Ashe said that due to various compromises and the fact that there will be public input, he would support the CEO proposal as amended.
Under Secretary of State Tara Sonenshine, Governor Meehan, and Governor Ashe insisted that wording on the necessity of Congressional consultations on the CEO position be included. Ashe also insisted that IBB Director Richard Lobo be directed to consult with broadcasting entities on the CEO position.
The actual appointment of the CEO will be the subject of further Board decision.
Governor Mulhaupt announced that the Board did not deal with the issue of the grantee consolidation.
Governor Ashe noted that Governor Mulhaupt has expressed his personal view that the grantee consolidation issue should not be dealt with until after January 2013.
Deloitte was ordered to do a study on consolidating all of U.S. international broadcasting entities rather than just the three grantees.
Sources tell BBG Watch that this move may be designed to postpone final decisions on any consolidation proposals until after the November elections. Ashe said that he was disappointed by the Deloitte studies so far.
The issue of the BBG’s 50 million dollar Gallup contract was discussed. Governor Ashe said that the contract with Gallup should be reviewed in light of the lawsuit against Gallup which was joined by the U.S. Department of Justice. The BBG is not part of the DOJ litigation but an audit of the BBG contract was requested.
Governor Ashe wanted to know when the audit will be conducted but the BBG staff would not commit to providing an immediate answer.
Governor Ashe also expressed serious concerns about the way the BBG/IBB staff is dealing with the negotiations with the BBG employees’ union.
At the end, Governor Ashe complained that the BBG staff did not allot enough time for the meeting to discuss all the pressing issues.
One BBG journalist provided BBG Watch with this assessment after watching the Board meeting online:
“I found [the meeting] quite disturbing, though Ashe attempted
to stand his ground, especially on the union issue. Amazing
that the hard-working journalists in this place are managed
by this process…”