Antolini Named Wva Public Broadcasting Executive Director

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The interim leader of West Virginia Public Broadcasting was named Wednesday as its full-time chief executive officer and executive director.

The West Virginia Educational Broadcasting Authority voted unanimously to remove the interim tag from Butch Antolini's title. Antolini joined Public Broadcasting last October to replace Chuck Roberts, who was fired.

"We are excited about the future of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, and we believe Mr. Antolini has the right skill set and is the right person to move us forward,” Educational Broadcasting Authority chairman William File III said in a statement.

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.

“I’m very thankful and excited that the Educational Broadcasting Authority has chosen me to lead West Virginia Public Broadcasting,” Antolini said. “While we still face many challenges, I believe that we are now poised for the future."

Justice replaced five of the eight appointed positions last year on the Educational Broadcasting Authority. The Republican governor had been critical of overall media coverage of his failed attempt last 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.