Pubcasting supporter Sen. Jay Rockefeller to retire in 2014

By Dru Sefton

Rockefeller

Rockefeller

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), today announced that he will not seek re-election in 2014. Joining him for his appearance in Charleston was his wife, Sharon Rockefeller, who is president of WETA in Arlington, Va., and a past CPB chair.

Sen. Rockefeller chaired the Commerce Committee, which oversees CPB and FCC funding.

“As I approach 50 years of public service in West Virginia,” he said at the announcement, “I’ve decided that 2014 will be the right moment for me to find new ways to fight for the causes I believe in and to spend more time with my incredible family. Serving West Virginia in the U.S. Senate is an abiding honor and privilege, and Sharon and I are so full of gratitude to our state and to the countless friends and supporters who have made my public service possible.”

Rockefeller is a longtime public broadcasting proponent. “I have always believed that public broadcasting is a national treasure,” he said in a March 2011 statement to Current. “It offers a diverse and engaging range of educational and children’s programming, as well as news, and is a valuable asset.”

Patrick Butler, president of the Association of Public Television Stations, tweeted: “Thank you @SenRockefeller for your strong support of public broadcasting, your outstanding service to West Virginia & the nation.”

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