NPR names a news head

Bill Marimow, the former editor of the Baltimore Sun and a protege of departed L.A. Times editor John Carroll, got the nod today as Vice President for News at National Public Radio. He had been filling the role on an acting basis. He joined NPR in 2004 as Managing Editor.

To: NPR Staff
From: Jay Kernis
Date: February 8, 2006
Re: New Vice President for News, NPR

I’m pleased to inform you that at a news all-staff today, we announced that Bill Marimow has been selected as Vice President for News.

When Bruce Drake chose to step down in September, we launched a national search with a challenging assignment: find the best person for one of journalism’s most important management positions who also has the commitment to translate that journalism into the new world of digital media.

It is a huge compliment to the quality and reputation of NPR News that we attracted an incredible list of applicants. Thanks to the hard work of a diligent in-house search committee and the guidance of a team of Member station advisors, we identified a deep, diverse pool of candidates – including people in top positions in broadcast and cable television news, and others who are leading innovative print, radio and online newsrooms. An intensive, months-long effort took an original group of 40 viable candidates to 12, then six and, ultimately, four.

As Acting Vice President for News, Bill was a candidate during this intense process and the leader of our News Division while it progressed. He joined NPR News as Managing Editor in May 2004, with responsibility for the national desk, enterprise and investigative reporting. In this role, he helped expand beats in such areas as the media, technology, environment and labor and the workplace, and recruited talented new journalists to join the strong news staff. He also oversaw many of the investigative pieces that have become a vital part of our programs in the past few years – reports which have been recognized with such honors as the Robert F. Kennedy and Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards. At the same time, Bill has been active and resourceful in developing opportunities to grow NPR News content onto emerging media platforms that are critical to the expansion of our public service.

Bill came to NPR with more than 30 years’ experience as a journalist. He spent a decade at the Baltimore Sun, first as managing editor and, later, editor. For 21 years, he held several positions at the Philadelphia Inquirer, including reporter, New Jersey editor, city editor and assistant to the publisher. He is the recipient of two Pulitzer Prizes: one in 1978 for distinguished public service and, in 1985, for investigative reporting. A graduate of Trinity College, Marimow was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard Law School.

As we fine-tuned the list of the skills and experiences that best-suited NPR’s needs, Bill emerged as the leader: a dedicated journalist who has demonstrated ability to make a difference at NPR News. He will be joined by the most impressive team of news managers NPR has ever brought together and who have played integral roles in our success to this point, including Barbara Rehm, Peggy Girshman and Cinny Kennard.

We hope you join us in congratulating Bill on this new assignment and in looking forward to the great work that he and this powerful group of journalists will bring us.


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