Independent producers and officials of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting have established the new independent television service with another quarrel. The two parties have negotiated — often heatedly — for nearly a year over establishing the service, which will distribute to independent producers $6 million of CPB funds ordered by Congress last year in federal legislation. At the long-awaited first meeting of the ITVS board of directors Oct. 17  in Washington, board members listened politely to CPB President Donald Ledwig pledge support to the new service but sharply criticized him in interviews following the session. The corporation will provide “overhead expenses” for the ITVS, Ledwig said.
The Public Broadcasting Service reached across the Potomac River and some bad blood to pick Jennifer Lawson, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s television program fund director, to become executive vice president for national programming and promotion at PBS. The senior programming position at the Alexandria, Va.–based PBS has been open since October 1988, when senior vice president Suzanne Weil left PBS to become executive director of the Sundance Institute for Film and Television. A quintet of senior PBS executives, including President Bruce Christensen, has since acted as a programming committee. The new chief will develop a comprehensive program plan and take an active role “to get the PBS schedule into shape, so it can deliver the kind of program power that all of us believe will be the result of the changes we’re talking about occurring over the next few months,” Christensen said. Lawson said there is “a growing consensus to have strong programming leadership, some details of which will be decided at the summit meetings” between CPB, the National Association of Public Television Stations and PBS.