To the relief of some of his board colleagues and some executive staff, former Knoxville mayor and ambassador to Poland Victor Ashe has exited the Broadcasting Board of Governors this month. Even though there is an unfilled Republican position on the board, the Obama administration specifically replaced Ashe with former Ambassador Ryan Crocker.
Ashe, while popular with worker bees, had castigated board members for not attending meetings and had been critical of spending and other issues in the operation of the agency that runs programs like Radio Free Europe.
The board has Democratic and Republican positions in order to make it bipartisan. Ashe’s term expired some time ago, but he had continued serving until he was replaced. The Senate finally confirmed Jeffrey Shell, head of NBC Universal, a Democrat, and Matthew Armstrong, a diplomat and Republican. There remains an unfilled Republican position.