This was not quite a surprise — NPR CEO Vivian Schiller has resigned. Between her very odd firing of Juan Williams, and the recently surfaced video footage of NPR fundraiser Ron Schiller bashing conservative Teabaggers — we saw this coming. But, did Vivian Schiller resign, or was she fired?
“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.”
Juan Williams appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show on Tuesday criticizing his former employers. “These people [NPR executives] are so rude and condescending,” Williams said. “They attack anybody that disagrees with their point of view — this elitist, NPR point of view.”
Here’s the official stance from NPR officials. NPR Board of Directors Chairman Dave Edwards sent this note to 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.”
Here is Vivian Schiller from happier days…
Alex has written for Vanity Fair, Barrons, Bloomberg and Condé Nast Traveler.