NPR is embroiled in yet another scandal as pressure from conservatives mounts to de-fund the public radio broadcaster. NPR president and CEO Vivian Schiller resigned this morning as a fallout of conservative activist James O’Keefe posting a hidden-camera video of senior NPR executive Tom Schiller (no relation) bashing the tea party movement as “racist” and “xenophobic” and saying that NPR would be better off without federal funding. (Tom Schiller resigned after his statements were made public. On Wednesday, he also pulled out of what was to be his next job, at the nonprofit Aspen Institute, citing the controversy.)
Last year, Vivian Schiller came under fire for the dismissal of longtime analyst Juan Williams over his comments on Fox News Channel that he feels uncomfortable when he sees people in Muslim garb on planes.
“The Board accepted (Schiller’s) resignation with understanding, genuine regret, and great respect for her leadership of NPR these past two years,” board chairman Dave Edwards said in a statement. “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.”
UPDATE: On Fox News’ America Live, Juan Williams reacted to the resignation of NPR’s Ellen Weiss, the executive who fired him, and discussed the future of NPR. He didn’t have many nice things to say (video below):
Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com
PREVIOUS: The NPR Board of Directors today released the findings of its review into the circumstances leading to the October firing of news analyst Juan Williams over remarks about Muslims he had made on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor. (Williams has since signed a new deal with Fox News.) The board recommends new “internal procedures concerning personnel and on air-talent decisions” and “appropriate disciplinary action with respect to certain management employees involved in the termination.” But here is the most interesting part:
- Williams’ contract was terminated in accordance with its terms. The contract gave both parties the right to terminate on 30 days’ notice for any reason. The facts gathered during the review revealed that the termination was not the result of special interest group or donor pressure. However, because of concerns regarding the speed and handling of the termination process, the Board additionally recommended that certain actions be taken with regard to management involved in Williams’ contract termination.
- The Board has expressed confidence in Vivian Schiller’s leadership going forward. She accepted responsibility as CEO and cooperated fully with the review process. The Board, however, expressed concern over her role in the termination process and has voted that she will not receive a 2010
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