Former NPR President Vivian Schiller told the Associated Press today (March 10) that her staying on as network chief executive would have complicated the federal funding battle. “We took a reputational hit around the Juan Williams incident, and this was another blow to NPR’s reputation,” she said, referring to this week’s NPR video sting. “There’s no question.”
Howard Liberman, a communications attorney who represents several NPR affiliates, told the AP that many stations were unhappy with Schiller and the release of the video was just the final straw. In addition to firing Williams, Schiller shortened the organization’s name from National Public Radio to NPR (predicting that broadcasting towers would be gone within a decade) and attempted to push listeners toward the NPR.org website. “This was just the last in a series of things that have shown to the members and the stations that this ship is not running very well,” Liberman said.