Written by: Tom Rieland
Date: August 19, 2013

NPR CEO Gary Knell is leaving the public radio network after two years. Photo: NPR

NPR CEO Gary Knell is leaving the public radio network after two years. Photo: NPR

WOSU listeners – I’m passing on the unfortunate news of the resignation of Gary Knell as President and CEO of NPR.  Gary has been a dynamic leader for NPR, but is leaving after two years with the network.  He will be missed.  Here is a portion of his letter to NPR stations today.

Dear Friends,

Before I even started at NPR, I had huge respect for this organization. And from the first minute of my first day on the job, my respect has only grown. Seven days a week, around the clock, Member Stations are serving the critical needs of their audiences in ways that few others can. That’s because of what each of you make happen. The power of this institution rests in its collective brilliance, courage, and dedication – and in the commitment we all share to make public radio better each day.

Knowing this makes it a little easier to share a difficult decision I’ve made. I will be leaving NPR after my term ends in late fall to join the National Geographic Society as its President and CEO. I was approached by the organization recently and offered an opportunity that, after discussions with my family, I could not turn down.

Working together, we have put this organization on more solid footing to continue to deliver the highest-quality journalism and programming. We have launched innovative new platforms and made meaningful strides in attracting new audiences and new funding. We have promoted a series of collaborations with Member Stations in news gathering, development, and a digital future. And we have exceptionally strong leadership teams in place at NPR and at stations across the country who are charting an ambitious path for the future.

In the upheaval of today’s media environment, you offer something few others can – great, diverse programming and a beacon of journalistic integrity, commitment, and courage. We do what we do so that we can serve our audiences, give them what they need to be informed and connected with their communities, their country, and the world we live in.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with you.