PBS to focus more on public affairs

WASHINGTON: PBS has lured Laura Nichols away from House minority

deader Richard Gephardt (D-MO) in the hopes of increasing its public

affairs muscle.



Nichols, who worked as Gephardt's spokesperson for eight years, will

become SVP of corporate communications and public affairs, a post Wayne

Godwin, the network's EVP for member affairs, claimed was created to

help PBS sharpen its message.



Godwin denied that the increased focus on public affairs represented any

lingering concerns about a Republican distaste for publicly funded

broadcasting.



'In 1995, when the 105th Congress came into power, one of its primary

targets was stopping the funding of public broadcasting,' he said. 'But

we've found nothing approaching that attitude in this

administration.'



Gephardt has not yet found a replacement for Nichols.



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