Andrew Lack, the US Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) chief who famously compared RT to terrorist groups ISIL and Boko Haram, has left the agency to chair NBCUniversal News Group.
As NBC struggles with its reputation after Brian Williams' Iraq War gaffe, a collapsing MSNBC cable news lineup and struggling local channels, its troubles echoed where it was least expected, the US Government foreign broadcasting agency. On Wednesday, the BBG announced:
"The Broadcasting Board of Governors announced today that CEO and Director Andrew Lack will be departing the agency. The agency will now begin work to attract an equally talented executive to help continue to transform our agency."
It is not clear what the move will mean for BBG, which is struggling to ramp up Russian-language productions as its budget has grown significantly in recent months. On Wednesday, US Assistant Secretary of European Affairs Victoria Nuland announced that the BBG is committing $23.2 million to Russian-language programming and is requesting an additional $20 million, which would almost quadruple its budget compared to 2014.
Although Nuland has not announced where the allocated money is going, there has been a growing amount of banner and context ads for the BBG's Radio Liberty and Voice of America appearing on Russian-language social network and blogging platforms in recent months.
Lack, who was known for his role as the director of NBC News in the 1990s and most recently, growing the Bloomberg Media Group's media presence, was tapped by the BBG in January. His appointment created controversy after he compared RT to ISIL and Boko Haram, forcing State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki to rebut his words, saying they do not represent US government policy.
The BBG is a federal agency of the US government. It supervises all US government-sponsored civilian international media, such as Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks and Radio Free Asia.
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