Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Goodbye & Good Riddance: Alabama Public TeeVee COO Charles Grantham resigns effective August 31 2012

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, August 1, 2012

FOR THE RECORD:
Good bye, and good riddance. Time to say ‘goodbye‘ to the old cr3w, and welcome a new day.

Why?

APTV has NOT yet achieved its potential.

That new and glorious day is ahead.

Thanks be to God that the old Board members, CEO, COO & CFO are gone.

Again, why?

They have NOT led APTV to glory.

Duh!

Hello?!?

If Alabamians were as rabid for APTV as they are for their cockamamie football team from Tuscaloosa, we’d have had a First Rate, Nationally Award-Winning organization & programs a long time ago.

The problem is, it was only once, and a very long time ago.

And we’ve been scraping the bottom of the barrel ever since.

For example, why did APTV close the long-time Montgomery bureau, only to open a Washington, D.C. bureau?

Be sure to ask that of the fired CFO Pauline Howland & fired Executive Director Alan Pizzato. They’re likely to know.

Bear this in mind as well, my commentary, while critical, is in no way reflective upon those individuals as human beings. That is to say, I have no ‘axe to grind’ with any of them, and I have no reason to suspect or imagine that they’re anything other than fine people.

However, they have a job to do, and APTV has been sucking wind for way too long.

In the competitive arena, if you don’t earn market share or provide value, your business dwindles. Keep that up, and the CEO’s head will roll, along with the COO, CFO, and possibly members of the Board of Directors, as well.

And that’s exactly what has happened.

It’s time to change.

To that denunciation, I add this additional withering criticism: The second story indicates that Mr. “Grantham told reporters that commission chairman Ferris Stephens instructed him that he was no longer allowed to talk to the media about the recent upheaval at APT.

That is an illegal act.

And someone like Ferris Stephens ought to know better than to do something as stupid as that, because he’s an Assistant Attorney General at the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.

Not only is the management of the network a matter of PUBLIC RECORD, but the employees have Freedom of Speech rights under the First Amendment.

Particularly, according to Rankin v. McPherson, 483 U.S. 378, 384 (1987) “The threshold question . . . is whether [an employee’s] speech may be ‘fairly characterized as constituting speech on a matter of public concern.'” There is little doubt that Mr. Grantham’s public speech may certainly be characterized as being on a matter of public concern.

Alabama Public TV COO Charles Grantham Resigns

Credit aptv.org / Alabama Public Television

The chief operating officer for Alabama Public Television has resigned after two other top network executives were fired seven weeks ago.

The 62-year-old Grantham says his resignation is expected to take effect at the end of August.

Grantham says his resignation is in response to the June 12 firings of executive director Allan Pizzato, and deputy director and chief financial officer Pauline Howland.

The Alabama Educational Television Commission, which runs APT, fired Pizzato and Howland because they said it wanted to change leadership.

Grantham sent an open letter to Gov. Robert Bentley on July 19, criticizing the firings and saying the morale at APT was low.

Grantham has worked for APT since 1978, and has been the COO since 2006 .

http://www.apr.org/post/alabama-public-tv-coo-charles-grantham-resigns

Alabama Public Television COO Charles Grantham resigns in wake of firings of top APT executives

Published: Wednesday, August 01, 2012, 12:08 PM     Updated: Wednesday, August 01, 2012, 8:28 PM

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — The chief operating officer for Alabama Public Television turned in his resignation today, following the dismissal of two other top APT executives seven weeks ago.

Charles Grantham, who went to work for APT in 1978 and has been its COO since 2006, said in interview with The Birmingham News this morning that his resignation is in response to the June 12 firings of ousted executive director Allan Pizzato and deputy director and chief financial officer Pauline Howland.

Charles Grantham APTV 11376988-large

Charles Grantham was named chief operating officer at APT in February 2006. (Birmingham News file)

Grantham, 62, said his resignation is effective at the end of August.

“I have been thinking about it for several weeks,” Grantham said. “As a matter of fact, the day after the initial firings on June 12, I almost resigned that day.

“It is just the stress of continuing here,” he added. “I thought it was starting to affect me both physically and mentally. It (resigning) is just something I felt like I needed to do.”

In his resignation letter to Don Boomershine, interim executive director at APT, Grantham wrote that “the work environment has become more stressful than I feel able to endure without damage to my health. Some employees have even attended counseling due to the additional stressful work environment created by actions of the Commission.

“The recent happenings at APT have caused me to no longer trust the long term goals of the Commission,” Grantham also wrote. “One of the Commissioners, by his statement yesterday (Tuesday), implied what I perceived as a threat to my future with APT. This combined with the additional stress indicates it is time for me to call it quits.”

At a special called meeting of the Alabama Educational Television Commission on Tuesday, Grantham told reporters that commission chairman Ferris Stephens instructed him that he was no longer allowed to talk to the media about the recent upheaval at APT.

Today, Stephens described Grantham as a  good employee. “Hate to lose him,” Stephens said. “We’re moving forward.”

But Stephens declined to comment on the shakeup of APT management cited in Grantham’s resignation letter.

APTV will begin looking for someone to replace Grantham, Stephens said. “Our goal is to be the best public television station in the country,” he said.

The commission, the governing body that runs APT, fired Pizzato and Howland because, the commission said, it wanted a change in leadership.

Others associated with APT, including Grantham, have suggested their dismissals were due to the fact that Pizzato and Howland refused to air a controversial history series by evangelical Christian activist David Barton.

On July 19, Grantham sent an open letter to Gov. Robert Bentley criticizing the firings and saying that morale at APT was low.

“The staff morale is the lowest I have ever seen and we have no confidence in our commissioners,” his letter said. “Our public and private foundation members resigned after the firings. What kind of message does that send when leaders in the communities who love APT resign in protest?”

In the days following the dismissals of Pizzato and Howland, at least seven members of other boards that help operate and raise money for APT resigned.

Pizzato has since filed a lawsuit against the AETC challenging his firing, and at its meeting Tuesday, the commission hired a law firm to represent it in the lawsuit.

Birmingham News staff writer Kent Faulk contributed to this report.

Email Bob Carlton at bcarlton@bhamnews.com

http://www.al.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2012/08/alabama_public_television_coo.html

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