MPT head says reports of trouble are wrong STATE HOUSE REPORT

January 29, 1993|By Michael Hill | Michael Hill,Staff Writer

In testimony that seemed to satisfy members of a state Senate committee, the president of Maryland Public Television yesterday denied reports of trouble at the station.

Allegations of discontent and irregularities had surfaced in November in a Sun article that followed the sudden departure of Michael Styer, a 20-year employee of MPT.

"I'm not saying anybody is outright lying, but there are many inaccuracies," MPT president Raymond K.K. Ho told the Economic and Environmental Affairs Committee yesterday in Annapolis.

He attributed part of the problem to the fact that both Mr. Styer and Ann Darlington, another former MPT executive who was quoted in the article, were unsuccessful candidates for his job.

Except for one position, the rate of turnover among top MPT executives has not been abnormally high, Mr. Ho said. The exception is director of fund-raising, and Mr. Ho has said low pay is the reason for that.

He told the committee yesterday that he has received a letter from a Public Broadcasting Service executive clearing MPT of the charge that it misrepresents the amount of sponsor funds received for "Wall Street Week" to get additional PBS money.

Mr. Ho also said he has received a letter from the state attorney general's office clearing the station of a charge of unethical fund-raising practices leveled by former employees.

And he defended the time and money MPT has invested in national and international programming. Asked if these programs were making money, he said that $14 million in investment has brought in $30 million.

Mr. Ho, who was accompanied by other MPT administrators, attributed any morale problems at the station to state budget cutbacks which resulted in several rounds of layoffs.

Two committee members gave him a pat on the back. "There's one thing in our democracy that has no check on it, that's the media," chairman Clarence Blount, D-Baltimore, said at the end of Mr. Ho's presentation.

"I almost feel a need to apologize for bringing you here," said Sen. American Joe Miedusiewski, D-Baltimore.

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