Two top managers at Alabama Public Television were fired from their jobs June 12 with no explanation of the cause for the immediate dismissals.
The Alabama Educational Television Commission came out of an executive session Tuesday afternoon and ordered veteran pubcaster Allan Pizzato and his deputy Pauline Howland to clean out their desks and leave APT’s headquarters in Birmingham.
There appears to be little coverage on traditional media except for this story on the site of a West Georgia/East Alabama television station about the naming of an interim director.
Alabama Public Television is under new leadership.The story makes no mention of why an interim director is necessary.
A state commission has appointed Don Boomershine as interim director of the network.
The firings appears to have been related to the desire of the board to air David Barton's 10-part fake history program called The American Heritage Series.
From the current.org story:
Howland, deputy director and chief financial officer, described the firings in an interview with Current and said she was "baffled" by the dismissals. But she also recalled how Pizzato had asked staff in April for advice about a series of videos that AETC commissioners wanted APT to air.Members of the APT Board are appointed by the governor. I am not sure how many public television stations and networks have this kind of arrangement.
The videos featured David Barton, an evangelical minister and conservative activist whose publications and media appearances promote his theories about the religious intentions of America’s founders. He frequently appears on political commentary programs hosted by conservative Glenn Beck.
The American Heritage Series, a 10-part DVD series offered by Barton’s Texas-based organization WallBuilders LLC, “presents America's forgotten history and heroes, emphasizing the moral, religious and constitutional foundation on which America was built.” Christian broadcast networks Cornerstone Television and Trinity Broadcasting Networks air the series, according to the website.
AETC Commissioner Rodney Herring, an Opelika-based chiropractor, had provided the series to APT for broadcast consideration. Herring joined the commission last year and was elected board secretary in January. As of late Wednesday evening, Herring did not return a voice message from Current.
I will watch for updates throughout the day.