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Corporation for Public Broadcasting Board Hammers Husock

Some Corporation for Public Broadcasting board members lashed out Monday at former WGBH producer Howard Husock for an op ed in theWashington Post earlier this month arguing for the proposed defunding of CPB. Husock is also a member of the CPB board.

That is according to Current, which covers noncommercial media and was covering the CPB board meeting Monday. 

President Donald Trump has proposed eliminating the funding for CPB, though it will be up to Congress to follow that lead or preserve all or some of the funding.

"Public media must demonstrate that it can serve truly diverse audiences in ways the private market can’t. Otherwise, the system’s budget will deserve to be zeroed out," Husock said in his op ed. "Public media now rarely offers anything that Americans can’t get from for-profit media or that can’t be supported privately."

That did not go over well with the board.

CPB board co-chair Bruce Ramer was not pleased. “I’m trying to follow the dictates of my mother regarding respect and courtesy,” Ramer said, according to Current senior editor Dru Sefton. “And I almost started to say to you, ‘With all due respect,’ but I really don’t mean that.” 

Ramer said Husock should have taken his criticism to the board. According to Sefton's report, the board appeared to feel blindsided and that it would be associated with the views of a single member—one with which the other members strongly disagreed.

“You don’t go to the Post or to Current, but you come to this board,” Ramer said to Husock, according to Sefton.

In a recent appropriations hearing, CPB president Patricia Harrison made an impassioned plea for funding, and committee chairman Tom Cole (R-Okla.) didn't sound like someone ready to axe that money.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.