According to a report in the New York Times, broadcast content watchdog Parents Television Council is contending with declining contributions and charges from a former PTC VP that it dropped the ball on fulfillment obligations and inflates its number of supporters.
According to the report, at a time when operational costs are going up, the recession is putting a dent into the organization’s coffers – as it is for many non-profit organizations. The fact that others are in the same boat doesn’t ease the group’s pain, but its president, Tim Winter, feels it has turned the corner financial corner and insists that it remains relevant and provides a valuable service for its constituents.
The ex-VP is Patrick W. Salazar. He said that a fund-raising drive tied to an FCC petition was not handled properly. Described as asking recipients to sign a petition for PTC to forward to the proper authority, along with sending in a contribution, Salazar says the campaign generated 195K responses. The money was taken, but the petitions were never forwarded.
Salazar is also critical of PTC’s claim that it represents over 1.3M people. That number is said to represent all of people who have ever signed a PTC petition or made a donation since its inception. Salazar says the real number of active donors at any given year is at most about 12K.
Winter says its accounting tactic is in line with that used by many other similar groups.
The dispute between PTC and Salazar is not pretty. Salazar says he left, PTC says he was fired. Salazar asked for severance pay in exchange for not contacting the media with his complaints; PTC called that extortion.
Efforts to open a criminal investigation of Salazar on those charges with the Los Angeles Police Department failed, with LAPD saying no crime had been committed.
RBR-TVBR observation: We have often criticized PTC when it claims that it speaks for the majority of Americans, or parents, or anything. It’s not a supportable claim even if you use PTC’s methods of calculating its support. And it certainly is not valid if you go by reports its number of actual donors.