Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM) announced Tuesday the five individuals who will serve as the heads of the agency's two federal organizations and three public service broadcasting networks on an interim basis.

Why it matters: The former leaders of the organizations were dismissed by USAGM's new CEO and Trump appointee Michael Pack. The dismissals and restructuring of the organization have caused concern among Democrats that the Trump administration intends to use the agency as a "political arm" of the administration.

  • Former agency leads are also raising concerns over the legality of the reshuffle.
  • A nonprofit group last week filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Open Technology Fund, an independent grantee of the USAGM, alleging that the dismissals were illegal.

The state of play:

  • Elez Biberaj will serve as the Voice of America's acting director.
  • Jeffrey Scott Shapiro will serve as the acting director at the Office of Cuba Broadcasting.
  • Parameswaran Ponnudurai will serve as Radio Free Asia’s acting president.
  • Kelley Sullivan will serve as the Middle East Broadcasting Networks's acting president.
  • Daisy Sindelar will serve as RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty’s acting president.

The big picture: It’s still unclear what the purpose was in clearing out all of the agency leads.

Go deeper

Senators' letter on USAGM purge promises funding review

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A bipartisan group of Senators on Wednesday wrote a letter to Michael Pack, the newly-confirmed CEO of the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), that they plan to review the agency's funding, after Pack abruptly fired the heads of five organizations funded by USAGM.

Why it matters: The sudden dismissal of all five heads last week prompted concerns amongst the senators about Pack's leadership and the future of the agency, which has aimed to promote American democratic values through unbiased journalism abroad.

Updated 25 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 11,288,094 — Total deaths: 531,244 — Total recoveries — 6,075,489Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 a.m. ET: 2,839,917 — Total deaths: 129,676 — Total recoveries: 894,325 — Total tested: 34,858,427Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona hot spot near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Trump extends PPP application deadlineKimberly Guilfoyle tests positive.
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.

Trump's failing culture wars

Data: Google; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

President Trump built his political brand by stoking the nation's culture wars, but search data is showing us how much harder it's been for him to replicate that success while running against another white man in his 70s — and while there's a coronavirus pandemic.

The big picture: Google Trends data shows Trump's "Sleepy Joe" name-calling isn't generating nearly the buzz "Crooked Hillary" (or "Little Marco") did in 2016. Base voters who relished doubting President Obama's birth certificate aren't questioning Biden's.