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NBC Buys Voice of America

Dec 14, 2010

by

NBC, a division of General Electric, announced last night it has bought the Voice of America.

No joke. Read about it here.

But it's not the U.S. government’s Voice of America: NBC will launch "The Voice of America" as a new weekly television series next spring.

Consider the opportunities for confusion, especially when NBC's VOA is broadcast in other countries. Even sophisticated viewers might believe NBC VOA is related to that other VOA.

On the other hand, NBC VOA could give U.S. public diplomacy a boost, with much slicker production values and a much higher budget than anything funded by Congress.

But why stop there: CBS could revive its long-running hit comedy "WKRP in Cincinnati" - and call it "Radio Marti."

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Could it be that the

Could it be that the executive staff at the Broadcasting Board of Governors, BBG, failed to register or renew the Voice of America, VOA, trademark. The BBG staff has been trying to scale down, privatize, and dumb down VOA for years. The BBG cut VOA Russian radio programs in 2008 just 12 days before the Russian army attacked and occupied part of Georgia. Since 2006, FreeMediaOnline.org has been reporting on the BBG mismanagement of U.S. international broadcasting. Year after year, the BBG has been rated in U.S. government-wide surveys at the very top of the worst-managed federal agencies.