The Corporation for Public Broadcasting is preparing to conduct an audit of ValleyPBS, the Valley’s public broadcasting station, board members learned at Thursday’s annual meeting at the station headquarters in downtown Fresno.
The corporation, which provides funding support for KVPT through its annual community service grant, periodically conducts audits of all public broadcasting stations, and “they finally made their way to Fresno,” said Vicki Clark, who is providing accounting and financial services to ValleyPBS through a contract with the National Educational Telecommunications Association.
Nancy Borjas, the station’s chief operating officer, said the CPB audit will examine the station’s finances, which are the basis for determining the size of the CPB’s community service grant. The audit also will review whether the station is in compliance with federal Communications Act requirements for public posting of meetings, job descriptions, and other reports required for the station’s public files over the past two years.
The CPB audit is being conducted concurrently with the station’s own annual audit that’s slated to start in October, she said.
Noncompliance Concerns Aired
Community members and critics had raised concerns about whether the station was in compliance with Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Federal Communications Commission regulations regarding unbiased programming, diversity, hiring, and the posting of public file documents.
Concerns also have been raised about the low membership on the Board of Trustees, which by its own bylaws is supposed to have 16 members but this year dropped to six, and the Citizens Advisory Board that’s supposed to be composed of 17 residents from across the seven-county region stretching from Merced County to Kern County.
Some of those concerns are beginning to be addressed. Thursday’s annual meeting brought news of four new members joining the ValleyPBS board of trustees and seven to eight new member applications for the Citizens Advisory Board.
The four new trustees are Ralph Goldbeck, a Fresno architect and businessman; former Fresno City Councilman Clint Olivier; Marcelino Valdez Jr., a financial adviser and former vice-chair of the California Republican Party’s Central Valley Region; and Jill Poulsen, founder of the TreeHouse preschool in Clovis.
Valdez was elected to the board’s Executive Cabinet, along with incoming chairman Jody Graves, vice chairman Deborah Lagomarsino, and trustee Celeste Barron.
The station’s interim CEO/president, Jeff Aiello, was not present at the meeting because of illness, Borjas said.
Search for New CEO Continues
Karen Musson, the outgoing board chairwoman. reported on the station’s search for a new CEO/president, which she said has netted responses from all over the nation. Thus far of the 34 who applied, 17 have been screened and six interviewed, Musson said.
She noted that the search has been underway for 60 days and is expected to wrap up within the next month.
However, the job was not posted on the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s online jobs board until Aug. 30.
The search committee has been “very, very impressed with the quality of applications,” Graves said.
The former interim CEO, Lorenzo Rios, left the station abruptly in late March to resume his fulltime duties as CEO of the Clovis Veterans Memorial District. Aiello, who was appointed to replace him and seeks to take the job permanently, is continuing to produce programming for the station.
The board also heard reports from Clark on the station’s finances and from station staffers about membership, pledges and donors, facilities issues, and upcoming programming.
ValleyPBS will air a new locally produced program, tentatively titled “Roy’s World” and hosted by the station’s programming and promotion coordinator, Roy Sizemore. The program will explore the Valley much as the late Huell Howser did with the entire state of California in his beloved series, “California’s Gold.”