CPB Contemplates Ombudsman Charter Changes

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting board of directors will meet March 13 in a teleconference to consider changes to the charter for its ombudsmen.

CPB last April created an office with two ombudsmen, Ken Bode and William Schulz. Schulz resigned in December, saying he had other obligations that prevented him from continuing in the post. He has not been replaced.

Schulz had been an editor at Reader's Digest, where he was a colleague of Ken Tomlinson, who resigned as chairman of the CPB board last fall under withering criticism of his efforts to add conservative programming to PBS to balance what he saw as a liberal bias.

That leaves former NBC newsman Bode holding the ombudsman reins.

Currently, the CPB board is at two-thirds strength, with three open seats following the recent exit of board member and former Chairman Katherine Anderson after eight years, reportedly for health reasons.

Former Arkansas Senator David Pryor and noncommercial KQED San Francisco board member Chris Boskin are said to be the White House's choice for two of the open seats, but the administration has not yet expressed its intention to nominate either.

John Eggerton

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.