Michael Pack, the former head of Voice of America’s parent agency, hired two law firms to open-ended, no-bid contracts, including one specifying that top lawyers would earn $1,470 per hour, according to documents and people familiar with the matter. The two agreements have cost taxpayers close to $4 million over a five-month period, far more than was previously known, and possibly in violation of federal rules.
Michael Pack resigned as the chief executive office of the U.S. Agency for Global Media just minutes after President Joe Biden was inaugurated on Wednesday. The agency runs the Voice of America and sister networks. Pack had created a furor when he took over the agency last year and fired the boards of all the outlets under his control along with the leadership of the individual broadcast networks. The actions were criticized as threatening the broadcasters’ prized editorial independence.
Simmering tensions between journalists and managers at Voice of America grew into open rebellion Thursday, with more than two dozen newsroom employees signing a petition demanding the immediate resignation of their new director and his top deputy.
The Trump appointee who oversees Voice of America and other federal broadcasting operations continued an ongoing purge of top leadership by naming two conservative allies to run two of the most prominent networks. The new hirings by Michael Pack, the head of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, may turn out to be short-lived and largely symbolic. President-elect Joe Biden’s aides have indicated Biden intends to fire Pack when he assumes office on Jan. 20, although it’s not clear how much authority Biden would have to undo Pack’s personnel decisions.
The head of the agency that oversees Voice of America removed the international broadcasting service’s interim director on Tuesday, in a move apparently aimed at asserting greater control over its editorial operations. Michael Pack, a Trump appointee who has made sweeping and controversial changes at VOA and its sister broadcasting networks, pushed out Elez Biberaj, a VOA veteran whom Pack had appointed as the head of the service on an interim basis in June.
The head of the government’s main international broadcasting agency flouted a subpoena for congressional testimony Thursday, angering both Democrats and Republicans already alarmed by his management tactics. Michael Pack, chief executive of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which oversees Voice of America and similar institutions, was issued a subpoena by the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week after he reneged on a promise to appear before the panel citing unspecified “administrative proceedings,” according to the panel’s chairman, Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.)
WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of journalists at Voice of America is protesting moves made by the U.S.-funded outlet’s new chief that they say are endangering their colleagues and the international broadcaster’s credibility as a news source. In a letter to VOA management sent on Monday, 14 senior VOA journalists expressed deep concern and profound […]
The moves by Michael Pack, a Trump administration appointee, raise concerns that the news organizations would become partisan.
Despite significant Democratic opposition and concerns over his fitness for the job, the Senate voted 53-38 to confirm Michael Pack to run the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which oversees VOA and its sister outlets including Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia and the Cuba-oriented Radio and Television Marti.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government’s international broadcasting agency says it will discipline employees responsible for a television report on philanthropist George Soros that violated its professional ethics and standards. The U.S. Agency for Global Media says that those who produced the report would be placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into “apparent misconduct” and may […]
The Broadcasting Board of Governors has updated its brand. The board, which oversees government-backed international programming services including the Voice of America, is now the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM).