Cochran to Step Down as RTNDA President in June

Nov 13, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Barbara Cochran, the network news veteran who has been president of the Radio-Television News Directors Association for more than 11 years, will step down and become consultant and president emeritus when her contract expires at the end of June.
The announcement Thursday said the journalism organization’s board of directors has begun the process of seeking a successor.
In a telephone conversation, Ms. Cochran acknowledged that RTNDA, like all media organizations for which its members work, is “trying our best to come up with cost-effective ways to deliver services to our members.”
She likes to point out that the cost of one annual membership in RTNDA, which, among other things, lobbies on behalf of First Amendment and other journalism issues at the Federal Communications Commission and on Capitol Hill, is less than the cost of one hour of a lawyer’s time to do similar duties.
As to her plans after stepping down, in addition to consulting for RTNDA, “I’ll see what turns up,” she said. “I’m involved in a couple of things that involve journalism education and scholarships.”
Before she joined RTNDA in 1997, Ms. Cochran was Washington bureau chief for CBS News, the first woman to hold that position for a network. She previously had been executive producer of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” National Public Radio news VP and managing editor of the Washington Star. She is married to ABC News senior correspondent John Cochran.
During Ms. Cochran’s tenure as its president, RTNDA won its 20-year battle to abolish the FCC’s Fairness Doctrine, which applied to personal attacks and political editorializing; helped win immediate access for the news media to audio recordings of the arguments at the Supreme Court in the 2000 presidential election dispute; and participated in sweeping reform of the Freedom of Information Act.


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