BBC may be “the only news organization I would leave NPR for,” Meyer says

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In an interview with the Washington Post, Dick Meyer downplayed the management turmoil at NPR this year as a factor in his decision to leave his job as executive news editor. The offer to lead U.S. news operations for the BBC was too good to turn down, he explains. “I couldn’t ever think of saying no to an opportunity like this,” Meyer told the Post‘s Paul Farhi. “The BBC is the world’s dominant news organization. It has the same news values as NPR and a global footprint. . . . It might be the only news organization I would leave NPR for.”

As executive producer of BBC News, America, Meyer will oversee BBC World News America, a weeknightly newscast airing on public TV stations, and its website for U.S. audiences, BBC.com.

In a farewell memo to NPR staff, Meyer described highlights of his nearly four-year tenure as executive editor, including recruiting “remarkably talented people with fresh skills, eyes and ears into NPR’s already remarkable newsroom” and learning from “some very gifted news leaders and executives.”

“I am especially proud of the ‘new’ NPR.org and all the progress made on the digital frontier,” Meyer wrote, “of the integration of our newsrooms, of expanding our hard news capacity, of our investigative work, and of the important StateImpact project.”

Meyer’s exit, scheduled for Dec. 9, was announced on the eve of Gary Knell’s arrival as NPR president and c.e.o. The job of senior v.p. of news, filled on an interim basis by Margaret Low Smith, has been open since Ellen Weiss resigned in January.