NPR CEO Resigns – USA Today Calls

It’s not everyday that you get a cold call from USA Today. But a New York reporter called this morning to ask my reaction to the resignation of NPR CEO Vivian Schiller. I had heard about the resignation just 10 minutes prior. While not shocked, especially due to the most recent controversy involving NPR, I was disappointed that it had come to this. The reporter asked many questions about political ideology, but for public stations in Columbus and around the country, it’s not about political ideology. It’s about continuing to provide local and national programming and educational resources to central Ohio. Federal funding is a critical part of the revenue stream that helps continue unique noncommercial services to our two million residents. We believe the $1.35 per taxpayer contributed annually to support public media in this country is well spent by local stations striving to distinctively serve their community. Recently, WOSU has helped those facing mortgage foreclosures through our Facing the Mortgage Crisis project; we’re working with Cardinal Health and OSU School of Pharmacy on developing media to impact the growing prescription drug abuse issue; we’re producing digital media for teachers to use in their classrooms that educate and inspire students about STEM careers.

I tried to express this view to the reporter. Our job is to keep our community informed and create the space to discuss the important issues facing Columbus and we do that on radio, TV, and through our online and social media services every day.

Comments
  • http://collectingmythoughts.blogspot.com Norma

    Unfortunately for WOSU, I suspect the shocking behavior of the 2 Schillers and Liley (and maybe others as yet uncovered) will be remembered during fund raisers. I don’t think you need public funding, and from the politics of your executives, you might be freer to be biased if you didn’t have it. Then there would be no pretending. But you probably do need the support of the locals–all those gun-toting racist Christians that Schiller maligned.

    I suspect school bond issues will also fail due to the deplorable behavior of the teachers people have been watching for weeks. Maybe they’ll keep their unions, but loose their jobs.

  • http://wosu.org tomrieland

    To be clear, NPR is a national program provider, just like BBC, Public Radio International, American Public Media and others. The executives of NPR are not “our” executives. We pay for NPR programming and others and monitor listenership closely and fundraise periodically around programming to determine if we should continue to provide that program. The loss of federal funding will not damage NPR as much as kill many rural public stations providing important community services and will certainly damage our ability to continue to provide the level of programming and services you enjoy. To be sure, Ron Schiller’s comments were idiotic, but he doesn’t represent anyone but himself. In fact, he had already resigned at the time of the sting video and was only with NPR as a fundraiser for about 18 months. He doesn’t represent that organization and certainly doesn’t represent local stations. Thanks for your comment.