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NPR Seeks To Cut Staff By 10% As It Faces Operating Deficit

By | Friday September 13, 2013 @ 11:58am PDT

The company is offering staffers a voluntary buyout as part of a new two-year plan to eliminate an operating cash deficit now expected to hit $6.1M next year it said today. NPR hopes to reduce about 10% of its roughly 840 employees as it approaches 2014 with expenses of $183M and operating and investment revenues of $178.1M. The radio programmer tucked the news into an announcement today that directors named their finance committee chair Paul Haaga to be the acting CEO beginning at the end of this month, replacing Gary Knell who’s leaving to run the National Geographic Society. A committee on NPR’s board will continue to look for a permanent CEO. While on the subject: The Washington Post reports that a new tax filing shows NPR paid former CEO Vivian Schiller $532,212 in severance, $99,671 in salary, and a $5,712 bonus for her 26-month stint which ended in early 2011 after two embarrassing events. She was in charge in late 2010 when Juan Williams was fired after he said on Fox News that he felt anxious when he saw travelers on an airplane wearing “Muslim garb.” Then, in early 2011, conservative activist James O’Keefe released a secret recording showing NPR representatives making politically inflammatory comments in what they thought was a meeting with potential donors who said they had links to the Muslim Brotherhood. The Post notes that NPR has … Read More »

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NPR CEO Gary Knell Exits To Become CEO & President Of National Geographic Society; John Fahey Stays As NGS Board Chairman

By | Monday August 19, 2013 @ 10:06am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The changeover at the National Geographic Society and NPR continue. NPR CEO Gary Knell today was announced as president and CEO of Nat Geo Society, leaving NPR after 21 months on the job. At NGS, Knell replaces John M. Fahey, who had been CEO since 1998, adding a chairman title in 2011. Fahey will continue to serve as chairman of the board. Knell will transition to the new position in the fall. Fahey has been shaking up the upper ranks at the 124-year-old nonprofit scientific and educational institution over the past couple of years in an effort to bring it faster into the digital age as well as modernize its TV operations and expand production capabilities. NGS president Tim Kelly left at the end of last year, while Brooke Runnette replaced Maryanne Culpepper as president of National Geographic Television. Meanwhile, Knell’s departure from NPR extends the revolving door at the top of the embattled public radio network. His replacement is believed to be the seventh permanent or acting NPR CEO in just over seven years. Knell succeeded Vivian Schiller who was forced to resign over a string of controversies. Before joining NPR, he spent 22 years at Sesame Workshop, including a 12-year tenure as CEO.

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