- The Washington Times - Friday, November 4, 2005

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting Board of Directors says former CPB Chairman Kenneth Y. Tomlinson made legitimate efforts to improve objectivity in public television, but both the board and Mr. Tomlinson agreed he should resign.

Mr. Tomlinson, whose two-year term as CPB chairman expired in September, resigned from the board Thursday, apparently after learning that the CPB’s inspector general will release a report later this month critical of some of his actions as head of the private, nonprofit corporation.

Mr. Tomlinson could not be reached for comment, but the CPB board said in a statement Thursday night that it recognizes Mr. Tomlinson disputes the findings in the IG report. It added: “The board commends Mr. Tomlinson for his legitimate efforts to achieve balance and objectivity in public broadcasting.”

The report was requested in May by Democratic Reps. David R. Obey of Wisconsin and John D. Dingell of Michigan, who were concerned about Mr. Tomlinson’s leadership after learning he had paid a consultant to monitor the PBS show “Now With Bill Moyers” for possible liberal bias without telling the board.

Kenneth A. Konz, the corporation’s inspector general, is expected to release his final report to Congress Nov. 13th or 14th.

An article that ran yesterday in the Baltimore Sun said the IG’s report will say Mr. Tomlinson violated the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, which established CPB as an agency to protect public broadcasting from political interference. As such, CPB is prohibited from producing, distributing and scheduling shows.

Specific offenses in the report, the newspaper said, will include authorizing funds to monitor the content of Mr. Moyers’ show without board approval and Mr. Tomlinson’s promotion of the (Wall Street) “Journal Editorial Report.”

Jan McNamara, PBS spokeswoman, declined to comment on Mr. Tomlinson’s resignation until broadcast officials are allowed to see the IG’s report.

Cheryl Halpern now serves as CPB chairwoman.

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