The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is pleased to announce the appointment of Danforth W. Austin as the Director of the Voice of America (VOA). He will have the overall responsibility for the planning, organization, direction and policy application of all VOA broadcasting activities. Austin will replace David Jackson who will be returning to the private sector. The BBG also announced the appointment of Russell Hodge as Director of VOA Television.
In making the announcement, the BBG said it looks forward to the leadership and vision that Austin and Hodge will provide in developing a strategic plan to implement VOA’s increased use of 21st century technologies to reach its worldwide audience, including satellite television, the Internet as well as FM and AM radio.
Austin is a news media executive with a business and journalism background. He has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc., the community media subsidiary of Dow Jones & Co., with 3,000 employees in nine states, overseeing both operating and support functions, including news, advertising, circulation, Internet development, production, technology, finance and human resources.
Austin also served in a number of senior positions with the Wall Street Journal, including Vice President and General Manager, where he was responsible for U.S. advertising, circulation, marketing and production operations. His other positions included Deputy National News Editor, Editor, Wall Street Journal Reports and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Bureau Chief.
Jackson is one of the longest serving Directors in VOA history, having served since September, 2002, and made significant contributions to its reputation and its future. These include the merging of Worldnet Television with VOA, the exceptional increase in VOA’s broadcast audience in television and on the Internet, and VOA’s remarkable expansion of broadcasting to crisis regions of the world in response to the War on Terrorism. The members of the Board of Governors join all members of the Voice of America in extending their sincere appreciation for his contributions and their best wishes for the future.
Hodge will serve as the Director of all VOA television programming and advise the Director of VOA on the editorial, production, program development, talent and day-to-day operations of all television programming produced or broadcast by VOA. He will also provide guidance to VOA’s Associate Directors for Language Programming, Central Programming, and Operations with regard to the development and production of television programming.
Hodge is the Founder and President of 3 Roads Communications, Inc., a television programming, video production, and strategic communications firm. He is also the President of Three Roads Media Partners, LLC, an affiliated company that focuses on domestic and foreign acquisition and distribution. Hodge is an Emmy Award-winning producer with more than two decades of experience in news, public affairs and documentary production and programming. His credits include projects for HBO, PBS, NBC, CNBC, CBS, Fox and Comedy Central. He has produced dozens of hours of television programming for network, Cable and Public Television and numerous foreign broadcasters. He has received more than three dozen awards, including an Emmy, Cable ACE, Telly, Aurora, Addy, Communicator, Aegis, and several other broadcasting awards.
The Broadcasting Board of Governors 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); the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa); Radio Free Asia (RFA); and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Mart