Dvorkin on Stern’s ouster: NPR execs who ignore stations “do so at their peril”

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“NPR’s weakness is that is has too often undervalued the quality of radio-ness in building the organization,” writes Jeffrey Dvorkin, former NPR News exec and ombudsman, in a blog commentary about Ken Stern’s firing as NPR ceo. This was especially the case during the last decade with Stern at the helm, he writes, when NPR recruited “non-radio people” in false belief that “true journalistic legitimacy is found among the world of newspaper reporters and editors.” NPR succeeded in attracting bigger news audiences, but “clarity of purpose of the organization became more confused” and Stern’s vision for NPR diverged from that of stations. “Inevitably, these competing visions were bound to clash,” Dvorkin writes. “Managers who ignore the reality that at NPR, the customers (the stations) own the company, do so at their peril.”

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