Station to Station

Ideological Clash in Alabama Public Broadcasting

6/29/2012 09:48:03 AM

The public media publication Current is digging in on the peculiar stuff going on in Alabama public broadcasting, which we mentioned last week.

“Alabama firings expose rift over PTV mission, editorial standards,” reads the headline on the latest chapter on the topic from Current. 

Allan Pizzato, executive director of Alabama Public Television for 12 years, was dismissed, as was his deputy. It sounds as though there was a stiff ideological clash among Pizzato and the commission he reports to.

What appears to be the root of Pizzato’s dilemma is a push by the political appointees who make up the Alabama Educational Television Commission to add programming that reflects Christianity’s role in American society into the public broadcasting mix.

Pizzato resisted this.

The commission also overhauled Alabama Public Television’s mission statement, reports Dru Sefton, striking references to the network’s commitment to diversity.

Pizzato was sacked following a meeting among commissioners earlier this month to discuss the exec director’s “general reputation, character and job performance.”

The dismissal of Pizzato and deputy director Pauline Howland sparked several subsequent resignations, suggesting the pair was popular in the Alabama public broadcasting community.

The Christian programming in question comes from David Barton’s WallBuilders franchise.

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