broadcasting board of governors

The Trump administration’s leading candidate to head the Broadcasting Board of Governors, a position that with recent changes would give the appointee unilateral power over the United States’ government messaging abroad reaching millions, is a conservative documentarian with ties to White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation.

About a month ago, Politico reported that some officials at Voice of America were concerned that the former reality-show personality might try to turn VOA into “an unfettered propaganda arm.” Politico published a follow-up piece yesterday on the state of those fears as a pair of political operatives from Trump’s campaign showed up at the VOA offices.

Last week, an amendment buried deep in the text of the National Defense Authorization Act disbanded the bipartisan Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), putting in its place an executive directly appointed by the president of the United States. The idea of handing control of the agency to Donald Trump has left some in the media reeling: Politico wrote this week, “Trump is finally getting his Trump TV—financed by taxpayers to the tune of $800 million per year.” 

A major overhaul atop U.S. federal radio and television broadcasting entities could be on the way. An amendment to a defense spending bill that passed Congress would change the leadership of those broadcasts by placing the five broadcast networks under the control of a CEO with expanded powers who is appointed by the president and requires U.S. Senate confirmation.