W.V. state pubcasting panel lifts contract and hiring freezes for station

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A committee appointed by the Educational Broadcasting Authority in West Virginia to examine the financial health of the state’s public broadcaster met for the first time Monday (April 23), and voted to lift several contract and hiring freezes, reports the Charleston Gazette. The review was prompted by testimony in January by Dennis Adkins, executive director of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, before the House Finance Committee that the station may have to reduce programming due to state funding cuts and a reduction in underwriting. “To put it bluntly,” he said in January, “our expenses are outpacing our revenues.”

At the meeting Monday, Adkins had better news. “Our underwriting is coming back around, and our current pledge drive is going to exceed projections,” Adkins said.

He told the committee that an April 30 retirement would leave the station short-staffed and force overtime pay, and discussed the need for computer upgrades. The state had been delaying filling several personnel vacancies as well as approving a $16,786 bid to replace servers. The committee voted to lift those freezes. The committee meets again May 7.