WASHINGTON - November 4 - In response to the Inspector General's report on misconduct at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the CPB board issued the following statement at the conclusion of its closed meeting today:
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting Board of Directors today announced that its former chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson has resigned from the CPB board. The board does not believe that Mr. Tomlinson acted maliciously or with any intent to harm CPB or public broadcasting, and the board recognizes that Mr. Tomlinson strongly disputes the findings in the soon-to-be-released Inspector General's report. The board expresses its disappointment in the performance of former key staff whose responsibility it was to advise the board and its members. Nonetheless, both the board and Mr. Tomlinson believe it is in the best interests of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that he no longer remain on the board. The board commends Mr. Tomlinson for his legitimate efforts to achieve balance and objectivity in public broadcasting.
"It was time that Mr. Tomlinson stepped down," declared Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. "He has engaged in unethical, if not illegal, behavior. Tomlinson's departure, however, is unlikely to stop the behind-the-scenes programming pressure on PBS and perhaps NPR. Board Chair Halpern and Vice Chair Gaines will continue Tomlinson's legacy in their attempts to reshape public broadcasting into something more to the liking of conservatives."
"Blame must also be shared by Ms. Halpern, Ms. Gaines and the other board members who condoned or supported Tomlinson's past actions," Chester added. "Did Ms. Halpern and Ms. Gaines, for example, know and approve of the Mann contract or the hiring of the Hill lobbyist? If so, they should resign as well. Mr. Tomlinson's hand-picked choice for CPB president, Patricia Harrison, will no doubt help them continue to exert ideological pressure on PBS and their other grantees. CPB needs a thorough house cleaning. We await the IG report's release."
Chester also noted that while stepping down from his position on the CPB board, Mr. Tomlinson remains head of the powerful Broadcasting Board of Governors. "It is likely he resigned in order to remain in that position," Chester concluded.