Ex-Wva Gov Spokesman Named Interim Public Broadcasting Chief

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority has named former gubernatorial spokesman Butch Antolini as interim executive director of West Virginia Public Broadcasting.

The authority approved Antolini's appointment Monday, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported. Antolini will fill in during a search for a new executive director. He replaces Chuck Roberts, who was fired earlier this month.

Antolini served as communications director for Gov. Jim Justice as well as for the state Department of Agriculture. Previously he was general manager and executive editor of the Beckley Register-Herald.

Earlier this year Justice, a Republican, replaced five of the eight appointed positions on the Educational Broadcasting Authority.

Justice has been critical of overall media coverage of his failed attempt this year to lower income taxes and shift the burden to sales taxes.

In 2017, Justice’s initial budget proposal sought to eliminate state funding for West Virginia Public Broadcasting, which lawmakers eventually fully funded. The GOP-controlled Senate made a failed attempt to eliminate funding for the authority in the 2021-22 state budget.