19. Memorandum From the Chief of Staff (Jordan) to President Carter1



As you requested, I checked with Secretary Vance on the proposed appointment of John Gronouski as Chairman of the Board for International Broadcasting.2 Cy has no objection to Gronouski, but indicated his preference was for Frank Stanton, former President of CBS. McGovern and Percy have also recommended Stanton, but there is no record of their objection to Gronouski. The basic controversy is over William E. Griffith, and we can postpone any action on that nomination until a later date.

Arguments in favor of Gronouski: He was Postmaster General in the Johnson Administration and then served as Ambassador to Poland, where it is generally agreed he performed well. He is a prominent ethnic and not an “establishment” type. He has apparently already been contacted by Brzezinski and is reported to be enthusiastic about taking the job. It is doubtful that even McGovern and Percy would object to his appointment. He would bring a new perspective to the Board.

Arguments in favor of Stanton: As Chairman of a Panel which studied the international broadcasting situation, Mr. Stanton has had experience in the area, although to some the recommendations of the Panel he chaired have been controversial.3 As a former President of CBS he would bring a good deal of experience in all forms of broadcasting to the Board. He has the support of Vance, Sen. McGovern and Sen. Percy.

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 9, Board for International Broadcasting (RFE, RL, VOA): 2–12/77. No classification marking. A stamped notation indicates that the President saw it. In the top right-hand corner of the memorandum, Carter wrote: “cc: Ham Zbig. What are key elements of the Stanton report? J.” An attached March 15 note from Hutchenson indicates that the copy was returned in the President’s outbox and forwarded to Brzezinski and Jordan “for appropriate handling.” (Ibid.)
  2. Brzezinski, in an undated memorandum to the President, repeated his recommendation (see footnote 2, Document 14) that Carter approve the appointment of Gronouski as BIB Chairman. In the top right-hand corner of this memorandum, Carter wrote: “To Ham [Hamilton Jordan]—O.K. w me—check w State first JC.” (Ibid.) Brzezinski’s memorandum is printed in Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, vol. XX, Eastern Europe, Document 48.
  3. See footnote 3, Document 1.