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NPR's Klose Takes Aim At Tomlinson

Well, it is no secret how the head of National Public Radio feels about the Chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting's programming philosophy.

NPR President/CEO Kevin Klose will hold a closed press conference (invite only) July 14 at the Century Plaza Hotel in L.A.

The topic of the talk will include the "public broadcasting funding crisis and recent CPB chair attempts to inject political interference in journalism," as well as the growth of NPR

The crisis is Republican attempts to cut funds for various noncom programs. Some of those funds, principally a $90 million cut from CPB's base funds,  were restored in the House after high-profile protests, but others, including for children's shows and technical facilities and upgrades, was not. The Senate begins its consideration of those remaining cuts the week of July 11.

The "political injection" is a number of shots at noncommercial radio and TV by CPB Chairman Ken Tomlinson and other Bush appointees, including that it is too liberal and that its kids shows are not educational enough.

Of particular note to NPR was Tomlinson's hiring of an outside consultant to track the politics of NPR's Diane Rehm Show and others (particularly NOW with Bill Moyers, which now isn't with Bill Moyers).  Tomlinson failed to mention that effort when he was interviewed on Rehm's show, which he praised, to discuss the controversy surrounding his assertions that noncom TV and radio needed conservative shows to balance the liberal ones.

Rep. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) has released some of the findings of Tomlinson's consultant, who labeled some programming "anti-Bush" or anti-[House Speaker Tom] Delay)

Tomlinson also favors upping the classical music content on NPR, which would mean less news and public affairs.

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.