NPR CEO Vivian Schiller Resigns After Exec Calls Tea Partiers 'Racist'

6:38 AM PST 03/09/2011 by Georg Szalai
NPR

Joyce Slocum, senior vp of legal affairs and general counsel, has been appointed interim CEO.

NEW YORK - NPR said Wednesday that president and CEO Vivian Schiller has resigned.

Her departure comes in the wake of the resignation Tuesday night of NPR fundraising executive Ron Schiller - who is not related to her - who had been caught on videotape bashing the Tea Party and Republican Party. It also comes after the fall firing of political analyst Juan Williams for incendiary remarks. The NPR CEO was criticized for the handling of that affair.

"I'm told by sources that she was forced out," NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik said about the issue on NPR show Morning Edition. In a tweet, he said: "The board for NPR NEWS has just ousted CEO Vivian Schiller in the wake of video sting by conservative activist of a top exec."

"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," NPR chairman Dave Edwards said in a statement posted on a blog on the news syndicator's Web site. "The board accepted her resignation with understanding, genuine regret, and great respect for her leadership of NPR these past two years."

He said that according to a CEO succession plan adopted by the board in 2009, Joyce Slocum, senior vp of legal affairs and general counsel, has been appointed interim CEO. The board will establish an executive transition committee that "will develop a timeframe and process for the recruitment and selection of new leadership," he added.

Said Edwards: "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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