Advice to IBB Director Richard Lobo on How to Improve Employee Morale

IBB Director Dick Lobo

The International Broadcasting Bureau (IBB) Director Richard M. Lobo operates as an extension of the Broadcasting Board of Governors in its oversight of U.S. international broadcasting.

His agency was rated as the worst-managed among federal agencies of similar size in the latest Federal Employee Viewpoint survey conducted by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and is considered the worst place to work in the U.S. Government.

Since 2010, Richard M. Lobo provides day-to-day management of Agency operations including oversight of the technical, professional, and administrative support as well as strategic guidance and management of other programs.  Additionally, the IBB Director serves as the principal liaison for the Board with other U.S. government agencies, foreign governments, and private-sector organizations.

Dear Mr. Lobo,

Thanks for your note regarding sequestration. We are all reassured.
 
But you must understand, once again the VOA employee survey revealed the deep level of discontent among employees. They are angry at the rudderless leadership, tired of the bullying and the lying, disheartened by the cronyism and defeated by hopelessness.
 
Now, furloughs loom due to Congress’ fecklessness. So, with the intent of helping the 3rd floor prevent a more devastating survey next year, I offer up the following suggestions to assist VOA and IBB in the event of an imposed down-sizing:
 
1. Furlough yourselves. SES and GS-15s do not keep the day-to-day operations running. If you really believe you are essential, then work from home without pay. You have earned enough over the years to go a month or so without pay. It will be easier for you than for a GS-12 with two children.
 
2. Do not award yourselves bonuses. Do I even need to explain this one?
 
3. Furlough the 3rd floor “hallway of no jobs.” While many of them are very nice people, we are talking about a lot of GS-14/15s who do NOTHING except feed the bureaucracy with meaningless reports, so-called editorial manuals, reviews and other make-work documents. This group should especially include those who work a straight eight, but still take a daily two-hour lunch at Au Bon Pain.
 
4. Furlough any additional GS-14/15s that do not work in a language service or admin or IT. (i.e. those who do actual work.)
 
5. Get rid of the POV booker in Florida. Are you really going to furlough journalists in Washington while paying her for doing nothing of value?
 
6. Get rid of the $500 per day consultants at PNN. They haven’t improved anything.

7. Stop plans to hire recently retired SES managers as POV consultants. We can’t afford to cover the news and you are throwing money at retirees with golden pensions? (You know whom I am referring to. Aren’t back room deals in government contracting illegal?)
 
8. Furlough the training department. No one will notice.
 
If you fail to follow this advice you will see a catastrophic drop in the next survey.

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From BBG’s Official Website:

Richard M. Lobo, IBB Director

IBB Director Richard LoboRichard Lobo was named Director of the International Broadcasting Bureau in September 2010.

The IBB Director operates as an extension of the Broadcasting Board of Governors in its oversight of U.S. international broadcasting.  He provides day-to-day management of Agency operations including oversight of the technical, professional, and administrative support as well as strategic guidance and management of other programs.  Additionally, the IBB Director serves as the principal liaison for the Board with other U.S. government agencies, foreign governments, and private-sector organizations.

The IBB manages a global network of transmitting sites and an extensive system of leased satellite and fiber optic circuits, along with a rapidly growing Internet delivery system servicing the 59 language services of the BBG networks. For the agency’s federal components, the IBB provides research, manages the evaluation of broadcasts and is responsible for VOA editorials, along with support services including human resources, Equal Employment Opportunity, procurement, security, administrative, and graphics.

Prior to his appointment as director of the IBB, Lobo served as chairman of the Florida Public Broadcasting Service, Inc. He was also president and chief executive officer of WEDU (PBS) Tampa/St. Petersburg/Sarasota. Lobo previously was president and general manager of WTVJ in Miami, station manager of WNBC-TV in New York, and vice president and general manager of NBC stations in Chicago and Cleveland. He served as director of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting in the mid-1990s. An Emmy Award-winning journalist, Lobo has also been honored with the New York Black Citizens for a Fair Media’s Community Service Award, the Wall Street Chapter of IMAGE’s Hispanic Executive Award, and the Leadership Award of the Chicago Latino Committee on the Media. Under his direction as general manager of WTVJ, the station won the Peabody Award, the duPont Award, and the Edward R. Murrow Award for its coverage of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

A graduate of the University of Miami, Lobo has served on the board of the Florida Association of Broadcasters, was a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences’ Suncoast chapter, and is the recipient of its Silver Circle Award. He was recent inductee into the Tampa Bay Business Hall of Fame. The Sarasota Chapter of the American Jewish Committee presented Lobo and his wife with the Civic Achievement Award. Lobo is a Captain (Retired) in the U.S. Army Reserve. He is married to Caren Lobo, has three children and five grandchildren.

Read Dick Lobo’s blog, ViewPoint.

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