Former WCCO-TV news director John Lansing to head Voice of America/Radio Free Europe

John Lansing, a media executive who was news director at WCCO-TV in the 1990s, has been named head of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the agency that oversees “United States government-supported, civilian international news media such as Voice of America and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.”

He’d also worked at KARE-TV as assistant news director in the late 1980s.

He’s since been a top executive at Scripps Networks, serving as president for nearly nine years.

At the Broadcasting Board of Governors, he’ll replace Andrew Lack, who worked there briefly before stepping down to become president of NBC News.

His new agency has been criticized for “failing to counter the propaganda of countries like Russia and stateless actors such as the Islamic State,” said the New York Times.

Lansing told the paper:

“I want to make sure that we have a communications link to the world using tools like Twitter, Facebook and other digital communications that are grounded in a free press and that can counter whatever propaganda is out there.”

Congress has been critical of the board’s work, but Richard A. Stengel, the under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, who represents Secretary of State John Kerry on the board of governors, told the paper:

“The issue today is not a lack of information, it’s that we are awash in information, much of it propaganda. John’s task will not only be to help the agency get out the view of America, but allow people to have a discussion about those views and policies.”

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