Tomlinson Withdraws From BBG; Plans to Write a Book - Radio World

Tomlinson Withdraws From BBG; Plans to Write a Book

Kenneth Tomlinson has asked the president not to nominate him for another term as chairman of the BBG, a position he's held since 2002.
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Kenneth Tomlinson has asked the president not to nominate him for another term as chairman of the BBG, a position he's held since 2002.

According to an announcement by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, Tomlinson plans to remain until a successor is confirmed.

Last summer a State Department investigation found he had improperly used his office, the Washington Post reported then. Several congressional Democrats had urged Bush to remove Tomlinson from the BBG, arguing that he had violated the public trust and the president's ethical standards.

It was the second time in less than a year that an internal investigation found evidence of rules violations by Tomlinson, who also made headlines when he resigned from the board of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

This week, BBG released a letter from Tomlinson to President Bush saying he is proud of his record. "Those who oppose my nomination cite charges against me that simply do not stand up to scrutiny," he wrote. "In recent weeks, however, I have concluded that it would be far more constructive to write a book about my experiences rather than to seek to continue government service."

He listed as accomplishments the role he played in launching Arabic-language satellite television in the Middle East, daily Persian-language satellite television to Iran, expansion of radio and television to Afghanistan and "significantly increasing" radio and television transmissions to Cuba.

The BBG supervises U.S. government-supported, non-military international broadcasting including VOA; Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, which includes Radio Sawa; Radio Free Asia; and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, which includes Radio Martí.

Tomlinson also is a former director of VOA and former member of the Board for International Broadcasting, which supervised RFE/RL.

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