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Monday, June 11, 2007

Meeting the chairman...

There are VIPs in Prague this week. The June meeting of the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) is being held here. The BBG overseas RFE/RL and the other "entities" such as Voice of America (VOA), Alhurra, Radio Sawa, Radio Farda, Radio Free Asia (RFA), and Radio and TV Martí. The BBG has a new chairman, Jim Glassman (at right), who was just confirmed last Friday and is replacing the outgoing controversial chairman Ken Tomlinson. I talked to Glassman for a few minutes after a meeting today at the Don Giovanni hotel, next to the site of our new new building. He is very bright, but comes across as a normal guy who you could discuss sports or politics with over a beer. Here is part of his bio from the web site leadingauthorities.com.

James K. Glassman is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington public policy think tank, where he specializes in issues involving economics and financial markets. In addition, he is host and co-founder of TechCentralStation.com, a website started in February 2000 that concentrates on matters of technology and public policy. He is also chairman of Investors Action, a new organization that aims to help educate and represent America's 100 million investors.

In November 2004, Mr. Glassman started writing a monthly column on investing for Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. He also writes a weekly op-ed column on political and economic issues for the Scripps Howard News Service.

Between July 1993 and July 2004, he wrote a syndicated weekly column on investing for The Washington Post, which also appeared in the International Herald Tribune and other publications. He has also been investing columnist for Reader's Digest.

Mr. Glassman's most recent book, The Secret Code of the Superior Investor (Crown) named one of the top 10 investing books of 2002 by Barrons.

From 1987 to 1993, he was editor and part-owner of Roll Call, the twice-weekly newspaper that covers Congress. Prior to that, he had a long career in magazine publishing -- as president of the Atlantic Monthly, executive vice president of U.S.News & World Report and publisher of the New Republic. In 1972, he started Figaro, a New Orleans weekly newspaper, selling it in 1979. He was executive editor of the Washingtonian magazine from 1979 to 1981. He has also had extensive television experience, as host of Capital Gang Sunday on CNN and TechnoPolitics on PBS. He has appeared as a guest on the CNN's Larry King Show, ABC's Nightline, PBS's Charlie Rose Show and many others. His articles have been published in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Reader's Digest, and other publications.

However he is not without controversy. In the late 1990s he predicted the Dow would soar to 36,000 when it was only about 10,000 at the time. From Wikipedia:

Glassman is known for his market analyses and commentary on economics and equities investing. He is a long-term optimist and is quick to point out positive developments, which is clearly typified in his book Dow 36,000. In this book, published near the peak of the late 1990s stock market bubble, Glassman infamously declared that the Dow Jones Industrial Average was undervalued and would rise to 36,000. This prediction proved to be drastically off the mark.[1] In its introduction, Glassman and his co-author wrote that the book "will convince you of the single most important fact about stocks at the dawn of the twenty-first century: They are cheap....If you are worried about missing the market's big move upward, you will discover that it is not too late. Stocks are now in the midst of a one-time-only rise to much higher ground–to the neighborhood of 36,000 on the Dow Jones industrial average."[2]

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