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US overseas networks clear out Trump bosses

January 25, 2021

By Chris Forrester

Three major US government-funded overseas broadcasting operations have seen their bosses fired. The US Agency for Global Media (USAGM), an umbrella organisation which includes the long-established Voice of America as well as Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty plus Radio Free Asia and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks have seen their directors let go.

The changes were authorised by the incoming Biden administration and also included the Office of Cuba Broadcasting. They were fired on January 22nd amidst accusations that the assorted broadcasters were following a blatant Trump-inspired propaganda message.

The various individuals had all been appointed by Michael Pack, who ran USAGM, and who had made some of the appointments as recently as a month ago. He was asked to resign, and replaced by the acting CEO of USAGM, Kelu Chao, who subsequently fired Middle East Broadcasting Network director Victoria Coates, Radio Free Asia chief Stephen Yates and Radio Free Europe head Ted Lipien in a swift series of moves late in the evening of January 22nd.

Pack assumed leadership of USAGM a year ago. He was known to be a former associate of Steve Bannon who received a presidential pardon from the departing President Trump last week.

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