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WCVE's Sydnor Changes Roles

The board of directors decided to redirect Syndor's role and appoint Monk as COO at its May 12 meeting in Falls Church, Bartenstein says.

Development staff had asked Sydnor to become more involved in fund-raising. "It makes perfect sense in a rapidly changing industry," Bartenstein says, particularly in a nonprofit realm where competition for money and donor support is fierce. Sydnor has not been relieved of any duties "other than the chore of direct reports," Bartenstein says.

Board member Sen. John C. Watkins acknowledges that fund-raising for public broadcasting, as well for other nonprofits, has become increasingly difficult. "I know Charlie — he's well-known in the community and the business community," Watkins says. "If he's willing to do it, he's the best person for the job."

Sidney J. Gunst Jr., another board member, declines to comment on the move, saying the matter falls outside his range of responsibilities.

Change at the nonprofit's television and radio stations has been expected. Prior to its annual spring membership drive, Bartenstein told Style that Commonwealth Public Broadcasting was exploring new strategies.

Sources with WCVE recall a meeting with a consultant in which they say aggressive, dramatic shifts in areas such as programming were recommended. Namely, they say, the consultant advised placing a greater emphasis on local content. The sources say that cutbacks and/or layoffs could be forthcoming. But Bartenstein says that a staff meeting held May 23 would serve only to inform staff of Monk's new position, not to announce additional change.

Commonwealth Public Broadcasting comprises Richmond PBS television stations WCVE and WCVW, as well as Charlottesville's PBS station, WHTJ, along with Richmond's WCVE radio station, 88.9-FM.

In addition to serving as CEO, Sydnor hosts the nationally distributed public-affairs show "For the Record." A former president of Emory and Henry College and speechwriter for Gov. Charles S. Robb, Sydnor was inducted April 21 into the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. According to IRS forms filed for 2004, the most recent year available, Sydnor's salary and benefits totaled $202,046. — Brandon Walters

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