WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Changes at the Top for Radio Free Europe & Other Overseas Outlets

Jun 30, 2020

As NPR reported recently, President Trump's pick to lead the U.S. Agency for Global Media, Michael Pack, wasted little time after being approved by the U.S. Senate. NPR says Pack swiftly sidelined most of the agency's senior leadership by stripping them of their authority. He also fired the chiefs of the government-sponsored broadcast networks for foreign audiences that his agency oversees.

Those networks include Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; Radio Free Asia; Office of Cuba Broadcasting, which oversees Radio and Television Martí; and Middle East Broadcasting Networks.

The two top leaders at Voice of America resigned days earlier in anticipation of Pack's arrival.

Pack dissolved advisory boards over each of the networks and placed his own aides above them. He gave no reason for his actions other than his authority to do so, according to two people with direct knowledge of the day's events.

The Shop Talk panelists discuss the possible ramifications of the actions.

Shop Talk is a weekly panel discussion about journalism issues.  This week’s program featured Will Buss, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University and advises the student editors at the Western Courier, the students at student radio station The Dog, and the WIU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists; Rajvee Subramanian, who teaches in the Department of Broadcasting and Journalism at Western Illinois University; and TSPR News Director Rich Egger.

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