Report: Embattled RFE/RL president Steven Korn will depart.

Posted: 27 Dec 2012   Print   Send a link
World Affairs, 24 Dec 2012, Judy Bachrach: "As it turned out, you really and truly needed a ticket to get into the December meeting of the Broadcasting Board of Governors to try to figure out what’s going on with the complete disintegration of the taxpayer-funded Radio Liberty. Or to find out the fate of its highly problematic president, Steven Korn, a former CNN executive who has both led and fueled its meltdown. And as it also turned out, the board representatives were in no hurry to give that ticket to the press or, once the meeting was over, to encourage the press (i.e., me) to linger in order to discover what was bubbling beneath the blather. Korn especially wasn’t open to chat, his ruddy face as grim and rigid as Stonehenge, and his response to my interview request—a terse 'I’m going on vacation' —as true a thing as he’s ever said. Korn, as I soon discovered from two informed sources, will be going on permanent vacation. Come February, he was privately informed right before we met, he must leave the helm of Radio Liberty and its sister outfit, Radio Free Europe. Last week, his closest aides denied all talk of resignation to the RFE/RL staff, but then no one knows how long that inner circle will last either once they lose their champion. Just as urgent, I hear from those same sources: Korn is also not allowed to fire anyone at all during the weeks he has left. This was an essential part of the secret deal. Under his brief aegis and that of his most trusted aide, Julia Ragona, who is vice president for content, Radio Liberty, a onetime free speech and hard news beacon, has turned into a bloodbath, full of fear, fury—and almost no sound at all. ... Next week: a bit more on the subject. By the way: Sources welcome."

Voice of Russia, 25 Dec 2012, citing TASS: "President and CEO of Radio Liberty/Radio Free Europe Steven Korn has been relieved of his duties. According to Washington-based 'World Affairs', a decision to this effect was approved by the Broadcasting Council, which controls the civilian branch of the US foreign propaganda machine."

Blogger News Network, 24 Dec 2012, citing BBG Watch: "U.S. officials and American NGO heads are refuting statements from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) executives who claimed in media interviews and in reports to staff that their leadership of the U.S. publicly-funded international broadcaster is no longer being seriously questioned in Washington. Freedom House President David Kramer said Sunday that nothing short of a complete housecleaning of the RFE/RL top leadership is required. 'The damage they have done is immeasurable,' Kramer concluded." -- To whom did Mr. Kramer make this statement? Where?

Blogger News Network, 24 Dec 2012, Ted Lipien: "Media in Russia are reporting that leaders of Helsinki human rights groups in Russia and the Czech Republic have appealed to former Solidarity labor union leader and Poland’s former president Lech Walesa to help them defend the rights of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) journalists who had been fired in Moscow on orders of RFE/RL president Steven Korn and the rights of foreign-born employees in Prague whom the RFE/RL management has denied labor law protections for many years." With links.

See previous post about same subject.