Personnel Reshuffle at Voice of America may hasten the undoing of the place, BBG Watch commentator says


A BBG Watch commentator described the announced personnel reshuffle at the Voice of America in the following terms: “This is going to have no material impact on anything except to perhaps hasten the undoing of the place.”
The obvious conflict of interest stemming from the fact that John Lennon and his wife Marie Lennon Skiba have long occupied top SES positions at the Broadcasting Board of Governors has been for years whispered about by BBG employees but nothing has been done to move one of them to another government agency.
BBG Watch sources tell us that both John Lennon and Rebecca McMenamin are generally well regarded by BBG employees who know them. But according to at least one of our commentators, they both lack stature and courage to oppose BBG executives who have been systematically stripping the Voice of America of its broadcasting assets and eliminating VOA programs to key countries like Russia and China.
From: House Announcements
To: IBB Notices
Subject: From the VOA Director
Sent: Jan 6, 2012 1:41 PM
I am pleased to announce the appointment of John Lennon as VOA’s Associate
Director of Strategy and Planning, effective Thursday, January 12. In this new
role, John will work closely with me and senior VOA and BBG management on
planning and implementing our strategic direction. The importance of this job
cannot be overstated, especially as we continue to coordinate our complex,
multimedia broadcasting efforts with the BBG’s strategy for U.S. international
broadcasting. John has more than four decades of experience at VOA and IBB.
For the past four years, he has served as Associate Director for Language
Programming, overseeing programming for VOA’s 43 language services. Prior to
this, he had served as Director of the Office of Performance Review since 2000,
and for extended periods as IBB’s Acting Associate Director for Program
Support. During that time, John expanded the use of audience research and
market analysis in the development of programming initiatives and helped
establish the Office of Marketing and Program Placement. John also has been
Deputy Director of the Latin American and European Divisions, Director of the
South European Division, and Acting Director of WORLDNET Television. He served
at the National Security Council in 1994-95 as a Director in the Office of
Democracy. John’s early career included assignments as a radio producer,
writer, reporter, and editor.
I am also pleased to announce that Rebecca McMenamin will be Acting Associate
Director for Language Programming, effective next Thursday. Rebecca, who began
her career at VOA 26 years ago, most recently served as my Senior Advisor for
Strategy to the VOA Director, working with me and senior management on planning
and implementing changes designed to strengthen VOA’s position as a leading
international broadcaster. Prior to that, she was responsible for leading Voice
of America and other U.S. government funded international broadcasters in the
increasing use of new and emerging digital technologies. Rebecca spearheaded
VOA’s initial digital product efforts, creating the Office of New Media and
overseeing development of a robust mobile platform for BBG, as well as creating
new digital syndication tools and expanding use of social media. Prior to
leading the Office of New Media, she worked in many different areas of VOA,
including four years as Program Coordinator in the Language Programming Office,
four years as Director of the English to Africa Service, Acting Managing Editor
of the East Asia and Pacific Division, and as a reporter and Duty Editor in the
Please join me in congratulating John Lennon and Rebecca McMenamin on their new
David Ensor