Friday, December 20, 2013
BBG announces discussions on Voice of America
WASHINGTON, DC -The Broadcasting Board of Governors today announced an interim management structure, took an in-depth look at the Voice of America and hosted a rich discussion on technology and innovation with key industry leaders.
The Board agreed to divide the responsibilities of the recently retired IBB Director among three members of the senior management team in order to help pave the way for a future Chief Executive Officer. Under this interim structure, André Mendes will serve as Director of Global Operations, Robert Bole will be Director of Global Strategy, and Suzie Carroll will serve as Director of Global Communications. Together they will lead the agency in an arrangement that is expected to begin in January, pending congressional approval.
"These individuals were chosen because they are forward thinkers and change agents," said Chair Jeff Shell. "We are extremely committed to bringing on board a CEO, and this interim management structure will prepare the organization for that reform."
Mendes, Bole, and Carroll will provide, in their respective areas, oversight and direction to the Director of the Voice of America, the Director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, and all other offices of the federal agency. The three will work together until a CEO is selected and hired. Governor Matt Armstrong will serve as the Board's Management Liaison.
Jeff Trimble, IBB Deputy Director, will transition to a new role to be announced separately. Shell thanked Trimble for taking the helm of the IBB management team after IBB Director Dick Lobo's retirement.
After the regular business meeting, including comments from the public, the Board held a 90-minute "deep dive" session focused on the Voice of America. Before a live studio audience, VOA Director David Ensor reviewed the network's worldwide activities, distribution and effectiveness, illustrating his talk with numerous examples of excellent work by VOA journalists. Ensor also fielded questions from the Board concerning mission, allocation of resources, and audience engagement.
The technology and innovation panel opened with a discussion between Shell and Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, about the challenges of steering a large international media organization. Hastings was then joined by Macon Phillips, Coordinator of the State Department's Bureau of International Information Programs, and Tom Cochran, Chief Technology Officer of Atlantic Media, in a panel moderated by Bole. An engaging conversation followed between the panelists, governors, and assembled audience on topics including measuring impact, developing partnerships and revitalizing content strategies.