Gary Knell, Sesame Workshop c.e.o., hired as NPR president

Gary E. Knell, president and c.e.o. of Sesame Workshop for a decade, will start work Dec. 1 with the same titles at NPR, the network announced today. The NPR Board voted unanimously to hire the widely experienced leader of a comparably prominent, esteemed and successful public media institution who had preparatory stints as a legislative aide and in private media and public TV. An NPR spokesperson said Knell would take a reduction pay. His Sesame Workshop compensation came to more than $746,000, NPR’s David Folkenflik reported today [Mark Memmott’s blog].

Coonrod’s plan works: Cox will head CPB

Kathleen A. Cox will step up from chief operating officer of CPB, becoming the corporation’s first woman president July 1 [2004]. Robert T. Coonrod, president since 1997, said he recognized her as a good successor four years ago and groomed her for the job. The CPB Board announced Cox’s promotion Jan. 27. Coonrod will work with her at CPB until October and says he wants to find a new job after that.

Challenge for public radio: inspiring, hiring, keeping talent

Ira Glass has another vision. The first one launched his hugely successful show, This American Life, which developed a fresh narrative style for public radio. Now Glass has a plan for an entirely new generation of storytellers who can bring public radio into the new millennium. But that takes talent, something that many say has been in short supply for public radio the past few years. At the Public Radio Conference last month in Orlando, the buzz about the talent crunch dominated discussions among managers, producers, editors and engineers alike.