NPR halts search for news exec to focus on top post

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NPR is suspending its search for a senior vice president for news until it hires a permanent c.e.o., according to an email obtained by The Hill newspaper Monday (March 28). In the memo, NPR interim chief exec Joyce Slocum told staff that the decision was made to stop the search for Ellen Weiss’s replacement after consulting with members of the search advisory committee. Weiss was forced to resign in January over her role in the firing of senior correspondent Juan Williams (Current, March 9). NPR President Vivian Schiller resigned after conservative activist James O’Keefe’s undercover video sting of network fundraiser Ron Schiller (Current, March 21).

Slocum said several candidates for the senior news position have indicated interest in the top position. “It’s only fair that the c.e.o. have a key role in selecting the [senior vice president] News and that the [senior vice president] News know who his or her long-term boss will be when coming into the position,” she said.

“I know that we all want to fill these roles as quickly as possible with permanent leadership. At the same time, I think we all want to follow the best possible process for each of these enormously important hiring decisions. This approach will help accomplish both objectives.”