The Broadcasting Board of Governors is seeking comments on its newly-released plan to consolidate several support functions of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks and to create a single, non-profit grantee in an effort to redirect managerial savings into content, programming and newsrooms. The grantees’ support functions, such as payroll, would serve all the people working at RFE/RL, RFA and MBN, but each of these grantees would retain its unique brand and mission.
In January, the Board tasked MBN President Brian Conniff, reporting to IBB Director Dick Lobo, with leading the effort to produce a grantee consolidation plan to reduce administrative duplication, foster greater communication and connectivity between reporters and use the savings for reporting teams, and to enhance programming and content creation.
Conniff assembled a task force consisting of the heads of the two other grantees and their senior staff, and he discussed the resulting draft plan with the Board in April. The draft plan will be reviewed further by all Board members and discussed at a meeting of the Governance Committee in late May.
It’s important to note that this document is a draft. Two charts that contain sensitive information were omitted.
• Details a new organizational structure and workflows for each primary support function to be shared among the grantees;
• Determines human and financial resource requirements for a consolidated organization of these offices;
• Estimates the savings and costs once these back-office support functions of the three separate grantees are consolidated;
• Provides timelines at the macro and functional levels;
• Reduces administrative duplication and directs the savings toward reporting teams, enhanced programming and content creation.
Under this plan, all brands that have been created within RFE/RL, RFA, and MBN over the past five decades would be preserved and one private, non-profit organization would be staffed to provide the administrative and technological support needed for their continued success in pursuit of their mission.
Please submit any comments by 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 22 to ConsolidationReportComment@bbg.gov .