NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller has resigned, NPR just announced.
This follows yesterday’s news that then-NPR fundraiser Ron Schiller (no relation) was videotapped 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.”)
Vivian Schiller quickly condemned Ron Schiller’s comments, and he moved up an already-announced decision to leave NPR and resigned effectively immediately. But Ron Schiller’s gaffe followed last fall’s dismissal of NPR political analyst Juan Williams, for which Vivian Schiller came under harsh criticism.
NPR just sent this statement from NPR Board of Directors Chairman Dave Edwards to its staff and member stations:
“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.”
We’ll have much more on this as the story develops.
Update at 9:30 a.m. ET: “I’m told by sources that she was forced out,” NPR’s David Folkenflik just said on Morning Edition.