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Panel reviews applicants for public broadcasting post

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- State Educational Broadcasting Authority members began a closed-door review of 15 applicants for the executive director job at West Virginia Public Broadcasting on Friday.

Given the large number of applicants, EBA Chairman Bill File said the authority will schedule another meeting for next week to select the executive director from a list of finalists.

"We are beginning the process of going through these," File said, as the authority went into executive session to discuss personnel matters.

In September, under pressure from authority members, current Executive Director Dennis Adkins announced his retirement effective Dec. 21.

On Friday, File thanked Adkins for his service to the EBA.

"I think he is leaving it in better shape, probably, than when he arrived," File said.

Adkins, a longtime general manager at WCHS-TV, became executive director on Dec. 1, 2007, and saw public broadcasting through a financial downturn as the recession affected memberships and corporate underwriting.

In his last report to the authority, Adkins said both funding sources have improved since last year, with contributions already at 85 percent of the annual goal, with six months remaining in the budget year.

"My time here has been interesting and, most of the time, enjoyable," he said. "I have an excellent staff, and you should be proud of them."

Also Friday, Education and Arts Secretary Kay Goodwin said Public Broadcasting should be able to comply with the governor's 7.5 percent cut in the 2013-14 budget by leaving several unfilled positions vacant.

That includes positions held by four long-term employees who have either retired or will retire before the end of the year.

Adkins noted that when broadcasting and technology director Bill Acker retired earlier this year, he was not replaced, and his responsibilities were divided among staffers, without additional pay.

Reach Phil Kabler at philk@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.


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