For weeks the rumors swept through the halls of the Voice of America and its parent organization, the International Communication Agency: top officials were slated to be offed by the new Reagan command, and M. William Haratunian, the No. 2 man at the Voice of America, was at the top of the list.
ICA Director Charles Z. Wick last week insisted there was no foundation to reports of any widespread purge. "There won't be firings," he said. "There will be some realignments to make the Voice more professional."
Now it comes out that Haratunian is indeed being removed from his job, which happens to be the senior professional post at the VOA. Haratunian is VOA's senior foreign service officer.
During the first six months of the Reagan administration, Haratunian was acting associate director for broadcasting (head of the Voice) until he was replaced by James B. Conkling, who was brought in from private industry for the No. 1 job, a political appointment.
"It's not a firing," an ICA spokesman said of Haratunian's removal, nor is it any reflection on Haratunian. "It's a foreign service officer being transferred" because "the new director of the Voice of America wants a director of his own choosing." Haratunian, the spokesman said, will be shifted to an overseas post.
Meanwhile, Frank Cummins, deputy head of Near East and East Asian programming, also reportedly will be replaced.
All this is seen by career employes as a step toward weaning the Voice away from its emphasis on general information and toward a future of anti-Soviet propaganda.