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CPB Nominees Approved by Senate Commerce Committee

The Senate Commerce Committee approved the president's nominees to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting board, although two powerful Democrats voted against the renomination of Cheryl Halpern.

They now have to get full Senate confirmation, though a source said that was expected before Congress exits for the election break, though just when that will be given the financial melt-down is unclear.

CPB is the independent entity that distributes the approximately 15% of noncommercial TV and radio broadcasters' budgets that comes from grants from the federal government.

Named to new terms were current board members Halpern and David Pryor. New to the CPB are Bruce Ramer, Elizabeth Sembler and Lorretta Sutliff.

The newbies were all approved by unanimous vote. Pryor's approval included one abstention, but that was not because anyone was undecided. The abstention was Pryor's son, Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.).

The only pushback was on the renomination of member and former chair Halpern, who succeeded controversial chairman Ken Tomlinson. Committee chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) both voted against Halpern.

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.