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Alabama Public Television executives fired abruptly after pressure to change programming

Staff Report

The Alabama Educational Television Commission abruptly have fired two veteran executives at Alabama Public Television this week with as yet no explanation for the staff changes, the public media blog Current reports.

Sources who spoke on condition of anonymity told Weld on Tuesday that APTV executive director Allan Pizzato and chief financial officer Pauline Howland were ordered to clean out their desks and escorted from the building on Tuesday, and the two executives were not allowed to speak to staff or explain the change on the premises. The sources requested anonymity because they are not authorized to make public statements about APTV’s internal affairs.

Speaking to Current, Pizzato said that his departure was the result of a difference of opinion of the public television network’s future.

“I serve at the pleasure of the board,” Pizzato told Current. “They want to take it in a different direction, and that’s up to them.”

In recent months, APTV has been pressured by members of the commission to air programing produced by David Barton, a Texas evangelist. Barton’s organization, Wall Builders, has produced a series of videos promoting a religious conservative view of American History. The Wall Builders website explains its purpose is to promote Christian religious values.

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