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NPR CEO resigns over conservative prankster’s video

By David Edwards
Wednesday, March 9, 2011 11:00 EDT
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National Public Radio (NPR) President and CEO Vivian Schiller has resigned in the wake of a video sting by a conservative group.

A video by conservative prankster James O’Keefe’s “Project Veritas” had allegedly showed NPR Foundation President Ron Schiller (no relation) saying the tea party was full of “racist people.”

The NPR Foundation president also allegedly lamented Jewish control of newspapers, and said NPR would be better off without federal funding.

Dana Davis Rehm, NPR’s senior vice president of marketing, communications and external relations, released a statement condemning Schiller’s remarks.

“The fraudulent organization represented in this video repeatedly pressed us to accept a $5 million check, with no strings attached, which we repeatedly refused to accept,” she said.

“We are appalled by the comments made by Ron Schiller in the video, which are contrary to what NPR stands for,” Rehm added.

The NPR Board of Directors accepted CEO Vivian Schiller’s resignation Wednesday morning.

“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 Board of Directors Chairman Dave Edwards said in a statement.

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

“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,” he added.

Fox News employee Juan Williams, who was fired by NPR late last year, tore into the media organization Tuesday.

This was an act of incredible condescension,” he told the Fox Nation blog.

“These people are not only attacking the Tea Party… they attack anybody who disagrees with their point of view,” Williams later told Sean Hannity.

The entire statement from NPR Board of Directors Chairman Dave Edwards follows.

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“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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Photo credit: NPR/Michael Benabib

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
 
 
 
 
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