Activists in Georgia are calling on Gov. Nathan Deal (R) to fire a public broadcasting executive after it was revealed that he hid his ownership of a competing Fox News affiliate radio station and did not notify the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Atlanta Unfiltered learned this week that Georgia Works Chief Executive Chip Rogers took control of Cartersville station WYXC in January of 2012, before taking his $150,000-a-year job with Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB).
In a February email provided to Atlanta Unfiltered, former station owner Chuck Shiflett warned Rogers that he had a responsibility to notify the FCC about the change in ownership. But the FCC records do not appear to have been updated since 2011.
GPB policies also require employees to receive written permission for outside employment, but it was not clear if ownership of a radio station would be considered outside employment.
And to make matters worse, the blog Peach Pundit pointed out that WXYC was a Fox News affiliate, which makes Rogers “a competitor to the GPB station in the area, so he actually is competing directly with his employer.”
“The governor needs to makes a decision on whether of not he needs to stay at Georgia Public Broadcasting,” Better Georgia Executive Director Bryan Long told Raw Story on Thursday. “It’s absolutely time that Georgia Public Broadcasting fires Chip Rogers.”
Listeners began canceling donations and employees quit earlier this year after the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Roger’s salary at GPB would be higher than the governor’s. Rogers has also come under fire for his conspiracy theory that the United Nations is planning to turn the U.S. into a communist dictatorship using mind control.
“I think what happens in Georgia is for too long, there have been no consequences for bad behavior from our elected officials,” Long explained. “I don’t know what is going to make the governor care. That’s a good question for people in Georgia to ask themselves.”
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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