Kenneth Y. Tomlinson was renominated November 14, 2006, by President George W. Bush as chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors for a term on the board expiring August 13, 2007, "even though the nomination has been stalled in the Senate amid allegations of misconduct." 
In November 2005, Tomlinson resigned as chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a position to which he was elected in September 2003.  Tomlinson's resignation was due to adverse findings of an internal investigation by the CPB Inpsector General, Kenneth Konz, into Tomlinson's controversial use of outside "bias ratings" to make executive decisions regarding shows such as NOW with Bill Moyers. Findings from the investigation were released in a November 15th, 2005 report in which Konz found Tomlinson had violated statutory provisions and the board's code of ethics in regards to how he dealt with programmers creating new public affairs programs. Konz also states Tomlinson improperly reviewed shows and applied political tests when seeking a CEO and president for the CPB. 
In a statement released ahead of the report announcing Tomlinson's resignation, the board said:
- "The board does not believe that Mr. Tomlinson acted maliciously or with any intent to harm CPB or public broadcasting, and the board recognizes that Mr. Tomlinson strongly disputes the findings in the soon-to-be-released Inspector General's report...Nonetheless, both the board and Mr. Tomlinson believe it is in the best interests of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that he no longer remain on the board." 
- 1 Background
- 2 Tomlinson's Role at CPB
- 3 Scrutiny of Tomlinson's Role at BBG
- 4 Book
- 5 SourceWatch Resources
- 6 External links
Tomlinson began his career in journalism as a reported for the Richmond Times Despatch in 1965. In 1968 he moved to the Washington bureau of the Readers Digest working with them as a correspondent in Vietnam and in 1977-78 from their Paris bureau. Between 1982 and 1984 he was a director of Voice of America, a position he was appointed to by the Reagan administration. He then took up a position as managing editor at Readers Digest becoming executive editor in 1985 and editor-in-chief from 1989 to 1996.
He resigned from Readers Digest in 1996 to work on the 1996 presidential campaign of Republican aspirant Steve Forbes.
In 1985 he was appointed chairman of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. From 1986 to 1994 he was a member of the U.S. Board for International Broadcasting.
Tomlinson's Role at CPB
Since being elected chair of the CPB Tomlinson has assertively moved to reshape CPB and influence the content of the public broadcasters it funds. Tomlinson hired Mary Catherine Andrews as a senior staff member at CPB. While still working as director of the White House Office of Global Communications Andrews advised Tomlinson on the establishment of an ombudsman's office for CPB.  She has also played a role in the appointment of two conservative ombudsman, Ken Bode and William Schultz.
Tomlinson also commissioned a $14,170 study into alleged bias against Bill Moyers PBS program, "Now with Bill Moyers" but didn't inform the board of the investigation. (Moyers hosted the program until December 2004). The unscientific study classified guests as "liberal" or "conservative" and classified segments using such labels as "anti-Bush", "anti-DeLay", and "anticorporation".
While Tomlinson has publicly accused the "Now" program of being "liberal advocacy journalism", he played an central role in raising $5 million to underwrite the The Journal Editorial Report, a program by the uniformly conservative Wall Street Journal editorial board and aired on PBS. 
In April 2005 the contract of the former CBT chief executive, Kathleen Cox, was not renewed. She was replaced by Ken Feree, a Republican and former adviser to former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Michael Powell.
Tomlinson has also been criticised for offering only heavily qualified opposition to a proposed 40% cut to the CPB's budget. In May 2005 it was revealed that Tomlinson was backing former co-chair of the Republican Party, Patricia Harrison, as his preferred candidate for chief executive of CPB.  In late June the CPB Board announced that she had been selected for the position. 
Scrutiny of Tomlinson's Role at BBG
In the aftermath of the damning CPB investigation, Tomlinson faced scrutiny of his other media roles too. "Tomlinson is also under investigation by the State Department Inspector General’s Office for what he’s done as chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors," reports Geneva Collins.  "Meanwhile, two other agencies overseen by the BBG are embroiled in controversies both public and private. The fledgling Arab-language TV channel Alhurra is the subject of three separate government investigations (by the State Department, a House International Relations subcommittee and the Government Accountability Office). And journalists at Voice of America are assailing their BBG-appointed boss for trying to tilt news stories more favorably toward the Bush administration."
In August 2006, the summary of the State Department report was leaked to the public. The alleged transgressions included that Tomlinson "has used his office to run a 'horse racing operation' and that he improperly put a friend on the payroll," reported the New York Times. Also, he "repeatedly used government employees to perform personal errands and that he billed the government for more days of work than the rules permit." 
In response, Tomlinson "issued a statement denying that he had done anything improper."  He also claimed that "this investigation was inspired by partisan divisions." According to the Washington Post, "The State Department said it turned its report over to the Department of Justice, which has declined to bring criminal charges against Tomlinson. The allegation involving the contractor [his improperly-hired friend], however, is pending in DOJ's civil division." 
- John G. Hubbell, Andrew Jones, Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, P.O.W: A Definitive History of the American Prisoner-Of-War Experience in Vietnam, 1964-1973, Readers Digest, August 1990. ISBN 0883490919
CPB media releases by or about Tomlinson
- "Tomlinson, Cruz elected Chair, Vice Chair of CPB Board", Media Release, September 24, 2003.
- "CPB Establishes Ombudsmen Office: Former NBC newsman Ken Bode and Former Reader's Digest Editor William Schulz Will Promote Public Dialogue on Balance and Accountability", Media Release, April 5, 2005.
- "Joint Statement of Kathleen Cox President and CEO, Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Kenneth Y. Tomlinson Chair, Board of Directors, Corporation for Public Broadcasting", Media Release, April 8, 2005.
Tomlinson statement, resigning from CPB
- Corporation for Public Broadcasting "Statement of the CPB Board", Media Release, November 3, 2005. (This short release announces Tomlinson's resignation from the CPB Board).
Konz Report and statements about Tomlinson investigation
- Kenneth A. Konz,"Review of Alleged Actions Violating The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967, as Amended", Corporation for Public Broadcasting Office of Inspector General, Report No. EPB503-602, November 15, 2005.
- Corporation for Public Broadcasting, "CPB Board of Directors Announce Reform Measures", Media Release, November 15, 2005.
- "Statement of CPB President and CEO Patricia Harrison", Media Release, November 15, 2005.
- "Remarks by Cheryl Halpern", November 15, 2005.
Other articles & commentary
- "CPB Board of Directors: Kenneth Y. Tomlinson, Chair", Corporation for Public Broadcasting, accessed June 2005.
- Bill Moyers, "A speech to the National Conference for Media Reform", audio, video, and transcript from May 15, 2005.
- Paul Farhi, "PBS Scrutiny Raises Political Antennas," Washington Post, April 22, 2005.
- Paul McLeary, "CPB Looks Under Bed, Finds No Dust Balls, Hires New Maid," CJR Daily, April 29, 2005.
- Stephen Labaton, Lorne Manly and Elizabeth Jensen, "Republican Chairman Exerts Pressure on PBS, Alleging Biases," New York Times, May 2, 2005.
- J.C. "NY Times article omitted key facts about CPB's new ombudsmen", Media Matters of America, May 2, 2005.
- L. Brent Bozell III, "Can Ken Tomlinson Reign in the Liberal Bias at PBS?", National Ledger, May 4, 2005.
- Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield, "Caught In The Balance", On the Media, NPR, May 6, 2005.
- John Eggerton, "Tomlinson to Hill: Bring it On", Broadcasting & Cable, May 12, 2005.
- "Bill Moyers Responds to CPB's Tomlinson Charges of Liberal Bias: "We Were Getting it Right, But Not Right Wing"", Democracy Now, May 16th, 2005.
- Diane Rehm, "Corporation for Public Broadcasting", Diane Rehm, May 18, 2005.The audio file of Rehms interview with Tomlinson is here.
- Josh Kalven. "Tomlinson used Diane Rehm interview to further distort his actions as CPB chairman, Media Matters of America, May 19, 2005.
- Media Matters launches "Hands Off Public Broadcasting" campaign, Media Matters of America, May 24, 2005.
- Josh Kalven, "Wash. Times' Lambro got his facts wrong on public broadcasting", Media Matters of America, May 25, 2005.
- Josh Kalven & Terry Krepel, "NBC News advanced unsubstantiated claims of liberal bias in public broadcasting", Media Matters of America, May 26, 2005.
- Eric Boehlert, ""Fair and balanced" -- the McCarthy way", Salon, May 26, 2005. (Sub req'd.)
- Andrew Seifter, "Hannity falsely claimed Moyers criticized him because he "dared to have an opinion"", Media Matters of America, May 31, 2005.
- Katherine Q. Seeyle, "Ombudsmen Rebuff Move by Public Broadcasting", New York Times, May 30, 2005.
- Josh Kalven, "NPR's Dvorkin repeated Tomlinson's faulty characterization of CPB ombudsmen", Media Matters of America, June 2, 2005.
- Paul McLeary, "Tomlinson Shows His Hand", "Spin Buster", CJR Daily, June 6, 2005.
- Josh Kalven, "Tomlinson choice for CPB head is GOP partisan who oversees Bush international propaganda effort -- with Tomlinson", Media Matters of America, June 13, 2005.
- David Brock, An open letter to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting board of directors, Media Matters of America, June 14, 2005.
- "Letter from David Brock to Rep. Jim Ryun", Media Matters of America, June 15, 2005.
- "Squelching Public Broadcasting", New York Times, Editorial, June 15, 2005.
- Stephen Labaton, "Lobbyists' Role for Public TV Is Investigated", New York Times, June 16, 2005.
- Stephen Labaton, "Steep Cut Proposed for Public Broadcasting", New York Times, June 17, 2005.
- Josh Kalven, Leaked emails prove CPB chairman Tomlinson misrepresented prior contact with White House, Media Matters of America, June 20, 2005.
- CPB president Ferree falsely claimed that public broadcasting polls had been "publicly released", Media Matters of America, June 20, 2005.
- "Public Broadcasting Under Fire", Online NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, June 21, 2005.
- Stephen Labaton, "Public Broadcasting Monitor Had Worked at Center Founded by Conservatives", New York Times, June 21, 2005.
- U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Dianne Feinstein, "Senator Feinstein Urges Removal of Public Broadcast Chairman, Media Release, June 21, 2005.
- Scott McClellan, "Press Briefing", The White House Office of the Press Secretary, June 22, 2005.
- "W.House rejects call to fire public-broadcast head", Reuters, June 22, 2005.
- Josh Kalven, "The lies of Ken Tomlinson, Media Matters of America, June 22, 2005.
- Simon Maloy, "NPR's Dvorkin mischaracterized CPB ombudsmen ... again", Media Matters of America, June 22, 2005.
- Stephen Labaton, "Broadcasting Ex-Chairman Is Removed From Board", New York Times, November 4, 2005
- Paul Farhi, "Kenneth Tomlinson Quits Public Broadcasting Board", Washington Post, November 4, 2005; Page C01.
- Stephen Labaton, "Spending Inquiry for Top Official on Broadcasting", New York Times, November 5, 2005.
- Matea Gold, "Probe Finds Broadcast Chief Broke Law, Played Politics", Los Angeles Times, November 16, 2005.
- Stephen Labaton, "Broadcast Chief Violated Laws, Inquiry Finds", New York Times, November 16, 2005.
- Paul Farhi, "Investigation Faults Ex-Chairman Of CPB: Report Says Tomlinson Tried To Influence PBS Program", Washington Post, November 16, 2005; Page C01.
- Geneva Collins, "Tomlinson’s other job: State Dept. looks into his BBG role", Current, November 21, 2005.
- "Report Finds US Broadcasting Board Chairman Misused Government Money," Voice of America News, August 30, 2006.
- "Broadcast chief accused of misusing government funds," Associated Press (CNN), August 30, 2006.
- Stephen Labaton, "Broadcast Chief Misused Office, Inquiry Reports," New York Times, August 30, 2006.
- Paul Farhi, "Tomlinson Cited For Abuses at Broadcast Board: CPB Ex-Chief Put Friend On Payroll, State Dept. Says," Washington Post, August 30, 2006.
- Bill Berkowitz, "Tomlinson's troubles: Kenneth Tomlinson: Ethically challenged maven of sleaze", Media Transparency, September 26, 2006.
- "Bush reappoints overseas broadcast chief," Associated Press (Boston Globe), November 14, 2006.
- Steve Benen, "Bush renominates Tomlinson for Broadcasting Board of Governors," The Carpetbagger Report, November 15, 2006.