BBG Watch Commentary

In response to our earlier article:

How can CEO Andy Lack get Voice of America to cover news?, BBG News, February 9, 2015,

BBG Watch has received the following comment from a Voice of America (VOA) / Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) insider. Andy Lack is the newly appointed BBG director and CEO.

“Excellent idea. It’s absurd for Voice of America (VOA) managers to claim the desks are too short-staffed to keep up with the news, when there is so much unused man(ager)power sitting idle. Not only do managers put in strictly 9-5, eight-hour days, most don’t have enough work to occupy more than an hour or two a day, if that. Many are in place mainly to function as yes-men to Ensor et al. They idle away their days in unproductive meetings and on phone calls with their own managers. If they were tasked with filling in shifts, VOA could become twice as productive overnight (assuming that at least half of current managers can report and write.)”

Our idea for an immediate solution was simple. Assign all current Voice of America and International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) executives (SES) and GM-15-14-13 managers, who have some journalistic background, and any VOA correspondents holding special Foreign Service assignments to work on a rotational basis in the VOA newsroom on night and weekend shifts. Because they are managers or have a Foreign Service designation, we think they would not be able to challenge any changes to their work schedule (Andy Lack would have to check with HR.) Next in line should be all senior journalists who currently work 9-5, Mon.-Fri. schedules (except for obvious hardship cases in all categories of employees). If they are union members, their new work schedule would have to be negotiated (check with HR and the unions), but our experience with the BBG unions in the past was very positive. Rather than resting, they supported smart changes from executives who knew what they were doing and were able to prove that they are working to advance VOA’s mission and to protect its future.

BBG Watch wants to thank our reader for the comment. We repost it because this inside view of the Voice of America management confirms our view to a large degree.