Jun 25, 2012

An inside look at Pizzato, Howland firings in Alabama

Now on, an in-depth, inside look at the June 12 firings of Alabama Public Television Executive Director Allan Pizzato and his deputy, Pauline Howland, and how the state commission's suggestion that APT run videos from a controversial evangelical historian figured into Pizzato's termination. The Alabama Educational Television Commission's involvement in program decision-making had been so persistent that Pizzato had spoken in recent months with several public TV colleagues about his concerns."Allan told me he was struggling with some influential stakeholders who have a very different understanding of the core mission of public broadcasting and the inherent responsibilities," said one public broadcaster who declined to be identified due to the confidential nature of the conversation. "He was determined to work with them on achieving an understanding." Also at the June 12 meeting, the commission approved a new mission statement for the station; two sources said that was to remove a clause on diversity because it encouraged diversity of sexual orientation.

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