White House installs new leadership at federally-funded international broadcasters
The acting CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) named replacements for the top positions at three U.S. government-funded media organizations on Sunday as part of a shakeup at the agency instigated by President Biden’s assumption of office.
A statement from the agency said Daisy Sindelar would take over as acting head of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, while Bay Fang would take over Radio Free Asia and Kelley Sullivan would assume control of the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN).
The shakeup comes after Biden moved within hours of taking office to force out the previous head of USAGM, Michael Pack, who was installed by President Trump last year and accused of working to ferret out journalists with negative opinions of the president from the various news organizations under the agency’s purview. The three replacements named Sunday will all head agencies recently targeted for leadership by Pack’s own appointees.
“I have great faith in these leaders in ensuring the highest standards of independent, objective, and professional journalism,” said the U.S. Agency for Global Media’s acting CEO, Kelu Chao, who took over after Pack’s forced resignation.
Pack’s brief tenure at USAGM was marked with a rocky relationship with Congress after he refused to testify before a House panel regarding a number of his actions including the firings of various figures at agencies under his supervision.
U.S.-funded media organizations under USAGM came under scrutiny for the alleged targeting of journalists with anti-Trump views under the Trump administration; early this month a reporter from Voice of America was temporarily reassigned in a move that drew heavy criticism, after the reporter questioned Secretary of State Mike Pompeo about his comments about the integrity of the 2020 election.