Climate-change activists call for Koch’s resignation from WGBH Board

By Dru Sefton

An environmental activism group says it has more than 70,000 petition signatures demanding the resignation of conservative billionaire David Koch from the board of WGBH, the Boston Globe reports.

“David Koch has essentially dedicated himself — and tens of millions of dollars — to deliberately mislead the public about climate change,” Emily Southard of climate-change education group Forecast the Facts, told the newspaper. “That’s completely incompatible with an organization like WGBH, which is dedicated to public education.” She said some 50 activists plan to picket the pubcasting station Wednesday and deliver the petition to the board of trustees during their meeting.

WGBH Vice Chair Maureen Ruettger said the board will “listen to it just like anything else. You have to listen to both sides.”

Koch has donated $18.6 million to WGBH since 1982, and $10 million specifically to the science program Nova, which WGBH presents.

“We can unequivocally state that David Koch has never interfered with or tried to influence WGBH’s programming decisions,” Koch Companies spokesperson Melissa Cohlmia said. “Further, he has no intention to resign from the board of WGBH.”

Koch resigned from the board of WNET in New York City in May. A lengthy article in The New Yorker magazine alleged Koch was angry over a documentary examining his wealth and influence, “Park Avenue: Money, Power and the American Dream” by filmmaker Alex Gibney, which ran on Independent Lens.

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