July 28, 2005
Kenneth Y. Tomlinson
Katherine Milner Anderson
Gay Hart Gaines
Ernest J. Wilson III
Patricia de Stacy Harrison
President and Chief Executive Officer
Dear Members of the CPB Board and Ms. Harrison:
We believe it is critically important for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to have unimpeachable policies related to corporate governance and public accountability. We are alarmed by press reports over the past several months that indicate a number of troubling activities by the CBP or its directors. We also are concerned that CPB does not appear to have adopted policies promoting public disclosure of its meetings, records and activities.
We share a concern about the health and vitality of public broadcasting. In that spirit, we ask that you submit and support the following resolutions at the next CPB board meeting scheduled for Sept. 19-20, 2005. The following suggestions for board action reflect our views that CPB should act as transparently as possible, particularly when it comes to the allocation of taxpayer funds for certain board activities.
We look forward to discussing these items with you at your earliest convenience:
* No member of the CPB board, including its chair, shall approve a contract without the knowledge of the entire board. Such a contract must have the support of a majority of the board, and be processed by the corporation's president, general counsel and other appropriate staff in accordance with the corporation's rules and bylaws. Any such contract shall immediately be made public.
* CPB shall not conduct any studies or reports on public broadcasting programming without first informing PBS, NPR or the relevant public broadcasting organizations of its intent to do so. Prior to such a contract, CPB shall receive comments in writing from the appropriate public broadcasting entities about the merits of such a study. Only then shall the board vote on the proposed study. Such studies shall immediately be made available to the public.
* CPB shall make its quarterly board meetings available to the public, via real-time online, video, audio and other communications. All other corporation meetings open to the public, including board committees, shall also be available electronically. CPB shall archive such meetings for public viewing. All CPB board agenda items shall be made available to the public reflecting their full record, including any background documents used for decision-making.
* CPB shall permit members of the public to speak at open meetings, within reasonable limits of schedule, by providing notice the morning of said meeting.
* CPB shall also make available, via online and archived files, conflict-of-interest statements filed by all directors.
Please contact Celia Wexler of Common Cause at 202 833-1200 if you have any questions. We will be contacting you soon as well.
Center for Digital Democracy
President & CEO
National Hispanic Media Coalition
Director of Research
Consumer Federation of America
Jerold M. Starr
Citizens for Independent Public Broadcasting
Center for Creative Voices in the Media
Chicago Media Action
DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed on this
website are those of the individual members of Chicago Media
Action who authored them, and not necessarily those of the entire
membership of Chicago Media Action, nor of Chicago Media Action
as an organization.
FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.