Knell’s departure stalls discussions about expanding NPR’s Code Switch

Talks between NPR and CPB about expanding the network’s Code Switch to a local and regional level are on hold as NPR President Gary Knell departs for his new job. A CPB draft business plan for 2014, released last month, said that the corporation “is considering building on the success of the NPR Code Switch initiative by extending it to local stations as a regional initiative.”

The cross-platform production aims to examine issues of race, culture and ethnicity, and spark discussion on social media platforms and NPR’s website. It launched in May with a $1.5 million, two-year grant from CPB. Discussions about expanding Code Switch beyond its current operations are now in a holding pattern, however, as NPR looks for a new chief executive. “We’ve been talking to NPR and PBS about a national-down-to-local diversity initiative,” said Michael Levy, executive v.p. of corporate and public affairs at CPB.