WASHINGTON — The acting chief of the United States Agency for Global Media, Kelu Chao, fired the heads of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia and the Middle East Broadcasting Network on Friday evening, according to two people familiar with the matter.
They had been appointed in December by the agency’s chief executive at the time, Michael Pack, an ally of the former Trump aide Stephen K. Bannon. Numerous current and former employees at the agency had accused Mr. Pack of trying to turn it into a mouthpiece for the Trump administration.
At a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing in September, lawmakers from both parties accused Mr. Pack of undermining the agency’s mission, which includes battling disinformation in places like Russia, China, Hong Kong, North Korea, Iran and Belarus. Mr. Pack ignored a congressional subpoena to attend the hearing.
After Mr. Pack resigned, the Biden administration quickly installed Ms. Chao, a longtime employee at Voice of America, to replace him. Yolanda Lopez, who served as the director of the V.O.A.’s news center, was also named as acting head of Voice of America and succeeded Robert R. Reilly, who had been appointed by Mr. Pack.
On Thursday, the director of Voice of America and his deputy were removed from their posts and the head of the Office of Cuba Broadcasting also resigned.
Ted Lipien, who ran Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, was once a high-ranking official at V.O.A. and became a sharp critic of the media agency. Stephen J. Yates, who led Radio Free Asia, was previously chairman of the Idaho Republican Party and also served as Vice President Dick Cheney’s deputy national security adviser. Victoria Coates, who ran the Middle East Broadcasting Network, was a deputy national security adviser in the Trump administration.