WASHINGTON - September 26 - On Monday, Cheryl Halpern was named chairwoman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, replacing embattled Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson. Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press, made the following statement:
“The appointment of Cheryl Halpern as chairwoman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting is unfortunate if not unexpected. Like Ken Tomlinson and Patricia Harrison before her, Halpern is a veteran political operative and GOP mega-fundraiser. Her appointment further politicizes public broadcasting and damages an institution that is treasured by the vast majority of Americans.
“Journalism challenging the official line is not by definition liberal advocacy. Instead of continuing Tomlinson’s ill-fated crusade against his imagined political enemies, we hope Halpern will rededicate the CPB to the real priorities of public broadcasting: investigative journalism, local programming, and public service.
"The CPB board had an opportunity to make a bipartisan statement by electing Beth Courtney as vice chairman. Instead, they chose Gay Hart Gaines, another partisan operative with longstanding ties to GOP officials committed to eliminating federal funding for public broadcasting.
“Public broadcasting faces an uncertain future. Now more than ever, we need competent, judicious and nonpartisan leadership at the CPB. The public will be watching the new chairwoman very closely.”