Vivian Schiller decided to resign as NPR president after receiving “a late-night ultimatum” from Board Chair Dave Edwards, according to the Washington Post. Reporter Paul Farhi quotes “one person involved in the decision” who said: “The idea was to placate the Hill” and “They needed a human sacrifice.”
Mark Vogelzang of Buffalo’s WBFO, a former NPR board member, told the New York Times, “Frankly, the management of NPR shouldn’t be in the press….When personnel issues are handled poorly at a national level, it reflects poorly on our member stations in our communities.”
Today’s Politico reports on reactions to the NPR turmoil on Capitol Hill. Moderates in both parties — Sens. Mary Landrieu, (D-La.) Olympia Snowe (R-Me.) and Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), and Rep. Steve La Tourette (R-Ohio) expressed support for continuing to fund public broadcasting.
“I know that some people think it’s too liberal-leaning, and I think they’re making an effort to make their programming more centrist,” Sen. Landrieu tells Politico, “but…in the day of Fox News on one side and MSNBC on the other side, it’s nice to turn on your radio and have a little bit more fair and balanced approach.”
In an appearance on the PBS NewsHour last night, New York Times reporter Brian Stelter said many newly elected members of Congress view defunding NPR as fulfilling a campaign pledge “because to them, NPR is a symbol of what they view as liberal bias and as elitism. And they want to take that down.”
Also, current.org’s coverage, posted yesterday afternoon: NPR loses c.e.o., its third exec swept away by political tornado. From NPR Ombudsman Alicia Shepard: No one seems to be taking care of NPR,