NPR CEO out after video controversy

Despite the fact no information reflecting too poorly on the public broadcasting network was revealed in James O’Keefe’s recent bit of ambush “journalism” snaring NPR fundraising exec Ron Schiller, critics of public radio were probably overjoyed this morning to learn that NPR CEO Vivian Schiller has resigned her position effective immediately in the wake of the controversy.

NPR itself reported on Schiller’s resignation, describing the events leading up to her departure in an uncharacteristically bombastic fashion:

This follows yesterday’s news that then-NPR fundraiser Ron Schiller (no relation) was videotaped slamming conservatives and questioning whether NPR needs federal funding during a lunch with men posing as members of a Muslim organization (they were working with political activist James O’Keefe on a “sting.”)

Although Schiller (no relation between the parties) immediately condemned the remarks made by NPR fundraising exec Ron Schiller and the comments were not very incendiary in the first place, damage already done by the Juan Williams brouhaha seems to have affected the decision to oust her, and NPR reports she was “forced out.” (Amusingly, NPR says it will have more information on the situation “as it develops.”)

Below is the full statement from NPR Board of Directors Chairman Dave Edwards regarding the situation. Do you feel that the waves created by the likes of James O’Keefe should be impacting people’s careers when it’s been proven time and again the information he presents is most charitably described as spurious? Should any weight at all be given to these manufactured scandals?

“It is with deep regret that I tell you that the NPR Board of Directors has accepted the resignation of Vivian Schiller as President and CEO of NPR, effective immediately.

“The Board accepted her resignation with understanding, genuine regret, and great respect for her leadership of NPR these past two years.

“Vivian brought vision and energy to this organization. She led NPR back from the enormous economic challenges of the previous two years. She was passionately committed to NPR’s mission, and to stations and NPR working collaboratively as a local-national news network.

“According to a CEO succession plan adopted by the Board in 2009, Joyce Slocum, SVP of Legal Affairs and General Counsel, has been appointed to the position of Interim CEO. The Board will immediately establish an Executive Transition Committee that will develop a timeframe and process for the recruitment and selection of new leadership.

“I recognize the magnitude of this news – and that it comes on top of what has been a traumatic period for NPR and the larger public radio community. The Board is committed to supporting NPR through this interim period and has confidence in NPR’s leadership team.”


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