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RFE/RL Announces Senior Appointments

Prague-based international broadcaster strengthens team with four key appointments

(Prague, Czech Republic–January 16, 2008) Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) strengthens its operation in Prague with three new hires, RFE/RL President Jeffrey Gedmin announced today. “These senior appointments will ensure RFE/RL continues to provide high quality independent news and information to countries and regions where free media is limited or nonexistent,” Gedmin said. “Our new colleagues come to RFE/RL with impressive experience in their respective fields,” he continued, “and we look forward to welcoming them in Prague very soon.” Gedmin was also pleased to announce an important internal promotion.

John N. Catlett has been named Chief Operating Officer. Mr. Catlett has been involved in broadcasting production, sales and marketing, engineering and management for over 35 years. He managed FM radio stations for CBS in Chicago and New York City. Since 1984 he has worked outside the U.S. to develop new stations in the North Sea, Ireland, and London, and the Metromedia International stations in Eastern Europe and Russia. He was the final manager of the legendary Radio Luxembourg, and he introduced the first private radio stations to India in 2001 for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. In recent years, Mr. Catlett has advised radio and television stations working with Internews in Russia, Indonesia and Afghanistan and with private companies in India and China. He has taught advertising, marketing and media management at the business school of the University of Connecticut and for the MBA program of the University of the Sacred Heart in Luxembourg. A graduate of Princeton University, where he remains a trustee of the student-operated radio station, he also holds an MBA degree from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Mr. Catlett will take up his new duties early in February.

Ricki Green is a media executive, television producer, and award-winning broadcast journalist with over 25 years of experience in non-fiction television. She joins RFE/RL as Senior Editor responsible for video and visual strategy. “We are extremely pleased to have Ricki join our team,” Gedmin said. “Ricki has years of experience in television, including as Vice President of News and Public Affairs for WETA TV, the flagship PBS affiliate in Washington, D.C. For over ten years, Ms. Green was producer and executive producer of Washington Week in Review, PBS’s longest running public affairs program. She has won over 60 awards, including three Emmys, a DuPont Columbia award and a Peabody award.” Her most recent television program, The Muslim Americans, was aired by PBS in 2007. Ms. Green’s international experience includes the training of young journalists in the Republic of Georgia.

John O’Sullivan will become Executive Editor, setting editorial vision and direction for the organization. He has served as a senior editor at the London Times and the Daily Telegraph, and as a special adviser to Prime Minster Margaret Thatcher. He helped found the Canadian daily, the National Post. Mr. O’Sullivan has also been editor-in-chief of United Press International and editor of the magazines The National Interest and National Review. Most recently, Mr. O’Sullivan was a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. His recent book, “The President, the Pope, and the Prime Minister,” has been translated into Polish, Czech, Spanish and Portuguese. He is the founder of the bi-partisan, transatlantic “New Atlantic Initiative,” launched at the Congress of Prague in 1996. “John’s key task will be to ensure that the breadth and depth of RFE/RL’s content meet its mission and regional requirements,” said Gedmin. He will arrive in Prague in early February.

Julia Ragona has been named Chief Broadcast Operations Officer. She has been acting in this capacity since October, 2007. “In just a few months, Julia has demonstrated deep understanding of our broadcast operations. We will count on her leadership in the time ahead,” said Gedmin. Ms. Ragona joined RFE/RL in May 2003 to manage the organization’s re-branding. As Director of Marketing and Affiliate Development, she restructured the management of local distribution partners to improve program placement and supervised the development of four television co-productions. Ms. Ragona came to RFE/RL from New York, where she worked as a management consultant specializing in strategy and organizational design. She worked in Moscow from 1993-2000 as managing director of an international marketing firm and as a consultant advising Russian and Western companies. She has also worked in international film production and as a global strategy analyst on Wall Street. Ms. Ragona holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BA in Soviet Studies and U.S. Foreign Policy from Vassar College. She speaks fluent Italian, Russian and Spanish.