The month-long election for NPR’s Board of Directors closed Monday, with two incumbents and two new faces joining the board. NPR announced Tuesday that Mike Crane, director of Wisconsin Public Radio in Madison, and Mike Savage, g.m. of WBAA in West Lafayette, Ind., will join the board. For what is believed to be the first time, Savage got on the ballot with a written petition signed by at least 15 authorized representatives. Candidates are usually picked by a selection committee headed by the NPR board chair. Incumbents Caryn Mathes, g.m. of KUOW in Seattle, and Flo Rogers, c.e.o. of KNPR in Las Vegas, were re-elected to second terms, and Patricia Diaz Dennis and former NPR interim CEO Paul G. Haaga Jr. were re-elected as public directors.
Disasters strike every year in every corner of America. Hurricanes on the Gulf Coast and Eastern Seaboard, ice storms in the Midwest and Plains states, wildfires in the west and arid states of the southwest, tornados through our nation’s heartlands and flooding along the Mississippi and elsewhere. And horrific acts of terrorism like the Boston Marathon, the Oklahoma City federal building bombings and the attacks on September 11th are all too familiar reminders of just how important information is during and after these events. During every hurricane, tornado, flood and wildfire, local public radio stations play an essential role in conveying information about response efforts, local relief supplies, evacuation orders, emergency routes, and where to find food, shelter and fuel, as well as on-the-ground, at-the-scene reporting to help affected communities understand and respond. Because of public radio’s role as a trusted media and information resource and an essential public-safety asset, we hope all stations will join us in calling upon the mobile phone industry to install and activate FM chips in all cellphones and smartphones.