The Voice of America, buffeted of late by outcries from the left and right, top-level resignations and other high dudgeon, will soon get a new news director.
Bill Marsh, now head of VOA's operations in Munich, will take the news director's post in Washington May 17. Marsh has experience on both sides of the Voice--journalistic and diplomatic--built up over more than a decade of work for the Voice and its parent, the International Communication Agency, and another decade working in the government information biz, including the Armed Forces Network and Radio Free Europe.
Before taking the Munich job, he was a press attache in the U.S. Embassy in Bonn; before that, head of the ICA's Worldwide English Division. He's also been a newspaper editor, back in the olden days, and even spent a couple of years as a Wall Street correspondent for Fairchild Publications.
The Voice kept the airwaves hot in Washington for a while last November when Philip Nicolaides, the newly designated deputy director for commentary and analysis, penned a memo to his boss, James B. Conkling, suggesting that the administration should abandon the idea that the VOA is a "journalistic enterprise of some sort" and run it as a propaganda agency. By mid-March, both Nicolaides and Conkling were no longer with VOA.
Meanwhile, ICA director Charles Z. Wick suggested in a recent Senate hearing that he doesn't expect to finish out President Reagan's term. Asked in a budget hearing whether his cuts in programs rather than personnel weren't intended to keep some people from getting angry, Wick replied: "I am not concerned with making people angry. I expect to be out of this job by 1984 or sooner."