Duggan seen heading PBS

The Public Broadcasting Service will name its new president/CEO today, with sources citing Federal Communications Commissioner Ervin S. Duggan as the likely choice.

The announcement follows an extensive search to replace Bruce Christensen, who unveiled his intention to leave the post in May after a nine-year tenure.

PBS officials could not be reached.

If Duggan is the new PBS chief, that would provide President Clinton an opportunity to appoint a third FCC commissioner — a majority of the five-member body — within the first year of his term.

Clinton already has chosen Reed Hundt, confirmed last week by the Senate, as the new FCC chairman and is expected to name a Republican nominee shortly, with San Francisco attorney Rachelle Chong said to bethe leading candidate (Daily Variety, Nov. 22). Having a majority of Clinton appointees on the commission could further administration efforts in support of its policies regarding the information superhighway.

Duggan was named to the FCC by President Bush in February 1990, after serving as national chairman of a Nashville-based organization Presbyterians for Democracy and Religious Freedom. He also worked in the White House during the Johnson Administration with MPAA prez Jack Valenti.

The PBS slot frequently draws political fire from organizations on both left and right, with particular pressure from the latter side, which remains convinced of a liberal bias in public TV programming.

Other candidates mentioned during PBS’ search included Bill Moyers, who reportedly declined the opportunity, and Marshall Turner, a PBS board member and former head of San Francisco pubcaster KQED. Jennifer Lawson, PBS’ current head of programming and promotion, said earlier that she’d withdrawn her name from consideration.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety