Radio pubcasters are reacting “with shock and anger” at the departure from NPR of news chief Ellen Weiss, reports the Washington Post today (Jan. 8). “We have allowed Fox News to define the debate,” wrote Peter Block, a member of the board of Cincinnati Public Radio, on an e-mail group for public radio managers. “I do not think this kind of capitulation [by NPR] assures the future of an independent press. … Democracy is on the line and NPR is one of the last bastions of its possibility.”
The Post also reported on Schiller’s compensation last year, including a one-time $112,500 bonus that was negotiated as part of her hiring package. The amount, which supplemented a $450,000 salary, was to have been awarded in January 2010 on Schiller’s one-year anniversary as chief exec, according to Dana Davis Rehm, spokeswoman. Schiller asked the board to defer payment until NPR’s financial situation improved, but the board opted to pay it last spring.
It’s not clear how much of a performance bonus Schiller would have been paid for 2010: the disciplinary action on the Williams dismissal preempted any board discussion of additional compensation, according to Rehm.