Senate approves all five presidential nominees to CPB Board

By Dru Sefton

The U.S. Senate confirmed all five of President Obama’s nominations to the CPB Board late yesterday.

The confirmation vote was part of a larger deal among lawmakers to resolve the backlog of pending nominations. Senate Republicans  agreed to allow votes on several of the president’s nominees after Democrats dropped a proposed rule change that would have made it harder for minority parties to block nominations.

Around 8:30 p.m. Aug. 1, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) asked the Senate  for unanimous consent to approve a long list of nominees; no objections were raised. The confirmed nominees now move into a wide range of positions, including ambassadorships and seats on the Broadcasting Board of Governors,  the National Council on the Humanities and the Security and Exchange Commission.

CPB directors are appointed for six-year terms, but incoming members will serve less time because their board seats have been vacant for years. Joining the CPB board with terms expiring in 2016 are Jannette Dates of Baltimore, dean emerita of the Howard University School of Communications, and a professor in the university’s Department of Radio, Television and Film; and Brent Nelsen of Greenville, S.C., professor of political science at Furman University and chair of the South Carolina Educational Television Commission. Obama nominated Dates on Feb. 27, and Nelsen on April 26.

The three remaining members’ terms expire in 2018: Bruce Ramer of Los Angeles, former CPB Board chair, an entertainment and media attorney with the firm Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown;  Howard Husock of New York City, vice president for policy research at the Manhattan Institute and former broadcast journalist and documentary filmmaker at WGBH in Boston; and Lori Gilbert of Elko, Nev., a returning board member, news director of KENV-TV News 10 (Intermountain West Communications) and KELK-AM (Elko Broadcasting Company). Ramer was nominated on Feb. 27; Husock, June 7; and Gilbert, June 24.

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