Minnesota Public Radio President Bill Kling attributes the turbulence at NPR to its old-fashioned governance structure in today’s New York Times. “NPR has been a victim of its own success,” he tells media columnist David Carr. “It never matured in terms of governance as quickly as its news capabilities did. It is controlled by a board from member stations that think of it as primarily a provider of programming for their stations and not the giant media company it has become.”
Kling gets it, but there’s no reasonable way to fix it. To change governance, you have to get the governors to give up their power. And clearly they like their power.
But once a bunch of local stations go belly up when CPB is defunded, maybe that will spark real change.
NPR as a service should be fine no matter what. And if they can get local stations off their back, they’ll be even better off.
Vivian Schiller tried to play nice with the stations. She was incredibly nice — she bent over backwards to extend an arm. But the stations, largely, didn’t reciprocate.
As a former “fund-raiser’ for NPR/PBS at a large affiliate, nay & ALL input is needed to both SAVE it/them AND change the “rickety-tracks” NPR runs on. . .to where. . .?