Four New Governors Appointed to the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG)

Four new governors — Joaquin F. Blaya, Blanquita W. Cullum, D. Jeffrey Hirschberg and Steven J. Simmons – are joining the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), the nine-member, bipartisan body that oversees all non-military U.S. international broadcasting.

“These new members bring to the board a wealth of broad experience in business, politics, broadcasting and journalism,” said Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, the BBG’s chairman. “We’re delighted they’re joining the BBG.”

President Bush appointed the new members, who were confirmed by the Senate last week. They are expected to take office shortly. The new BBG members have wide-ranging backgrounds.

Joaquin F. Blaya of Miami, Fla., is chairman and chief executive officer of Radio Unica Communications Corp., a Spanish-language AM talk and sports radio network that targets Hispanics in the United States. He has served as chief executive officer of Telemundo Group, Inc., and president of Univision Holdings. A native of Chile, Blaya emigrated to the United States more than three decades ago.

Blanquita Walsh Cullum of Alexandria, Va., is a radio broadcaster whose nationally syndicated program, BQ View, is carried coast-to-coast by the Radio America Network. Cullum, the first Hispanic woman to serve on the BBG, is president of the National Association of Radio Talk Show Hosts. She is also president and founder of the Young American Broadcasters Program, which helps train college students interested in careers in broadcasting. Cullum, a veteran of radio and television, began her career in San Antonio, Texas.

D. Jeffrey Hirschberg of Bethesda, Md., is president of Hirschberg, PC, and a consultant to Coudert Brothers (global legal affairs). In 1999, he retired as vice chairman/governmental affairs from Ernst & Young. Previously, he worked as a private attorney in Washington, D.C., and Milwaukee, Wis., and for the U.S. Justice Department. Hirschberg is a director of the U.S. Russian Investment Fund, the U.S.-Russia Business Council and the Israel Policy Forum. He is a former director at The Center for Democracy.

Steven J. Simmons is Chairman and CEO of Patriot Media and Communications, LLC, a company acquiring cable television systems in the United States. From 1982-1994, he was chairman and chief executive officer of Simmons Communications, Inc., a company that owned and managed cable companies. Earlier, he served for almost four years as an assistant and then associate director on the White House’s domestic policy staff and taught law at the University of California at Irvine as an assistant and then associate professor. Simmons is also a best-selling author of children’s books.

The BBG is an independent federal agency which supervises all U.S. government-supported non-military international broadcasting, including the Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia (RFA), Radio and TV Mart