Dick Lobo will retire at the end of next month as director of the International Broadcasting Bureau, having served three years, longer than anyone prior.
IBB falls under the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which supervises U.S. government-supported, civilian international media like Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa. The bureau manages BBG’s network that delivers 61 language services using transmitters, leased satellite and fiber optic circuits, and Internet delivery systems.
As such Lobo has also been in the middle of recent efforts to revamp and streamline U.S. international broadcasting. He also is a former director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, which oversees Radio and TV Martí.
He’ll stay on at IBB until the end of November. The board said the White House has not announced its intent to nominate a successor.
According to a board announcement, Lobo helped formulate the proposal to create a position of CEO of international broadcasting. If that change does take place, the IBB director’s position would be abolished. Lobo called this an ideal time to step aside and said he’d retire to his native Florida after five decades in broadcasting.
BBG Chair Jeff Shell thanked Lobo for helping develop the CEO proposal “as well as leadership of the IBB during a challenging period of uncertainty and tightening budgets.” He made note of Lobo’s role in helping BBG keep its programs going despite furloughs in the recent partial government shutdown.
“Among his signature accomplishments has been to implement the board’s vision to step up innovation throughout the BBG and its grantee networks by establishing and cultivating the IBB’s Office of Digital and Design Innovation,” the board wrote in its statement.
Lobo is former president/CEO of a Florida PBS TV station and chairman of the Florida Public Broadcasting Service. He was president of WTVJ(TV) in Miami, station manager of WNBC(TV) in New York, and VP/GM of NBC stations in Chicago and Cleveland. He was director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, appointed by President Clinton, and is a grandson of Cuban immigrants. He is a former member of the NAB TV board. Among his awards is an Emmy for broadcast editorials.