NPR's top news VP leaves over Juan Williams firing

NPR has just released two statements: one with the conclusions of an internal review into the controversial dropping of senior news analyst Juan Williams over statements he made as a Fox News commentator, and another with the news that Ellen Weiss is leaving as Senior Vice President for News. Weiss is the executive who axed Williams. (NPR president Vivian Schiller also won't receive her 2010 bonus, apparently over some perceived lapse in the Williams affair.) Salient grabs from both statements:

The Board adopted recommendations that NPR...ensure that its practices encourage a broad range of viewpoints to assist its decision-making, support its mission, and reflect the diversity of its national audiences....

Williams' contract was terminated in accordance with its terms. The contract gave both parties the right to terminate on 30 days’ notice for any reason. The facts gathered during the review revealed that the termination was not the result of special interest group or donor pressure. However, because of concerns regarding the speed and handling of the termination process, the Board additionally recommended that certain actions be taken with regard to management involved in Williams’ contract termination.

Regarding Weiss's resignation, Schiller memoed the staff:

Over her decades at NPR, Ellen has made meaningful and lasting contributions to the evolution of NPR and our newsroom. She is a strong journalist who has brought her considerable talents to how NPR covers the world and meets the ever-increasing expectations of today’s audiences. Ellen exemplifies journalistic professionalism and integrity. I’m grateful to her for what she has accomplished at NPR, and I encourage you to reach out to her in the days ahead with your own thanks.

"I’ve asked Vice President for Programming Margaret Low Smith to step in as acting senior vice president for news until we’ve found Ellen’s replacement. Margaret is an accomplished newswoman. She spent nearly 14 years in the news division, ultimately as a senior producer for All Things Considered, before she joined NPR’s senior management team....

Williams did not cooperate in the NPR review. He has since been hired at Fox News.



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