Washington - Mar 9, 2011 - NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller has resigned following the decision of the NPR board of directors that she could no longer effectively lead the organization. Schiller has been under criticism following comments made March 8 by NPR fundraiser Ron Schiller (who is not related) as he slammed conservatives and questioned NPR's needs for federal funding, and also public remarks made in the fall of 2010 by Juan Williams.
NPR sent a statement from NPR Board of Directors Chairman Dave Edwards to its staff and member stations:
"It is with deep regret that I tell you that the NPR Board of Directors has accepted the resignation of Vivian Schiller as President and CEO of NPR, effective immediately.
"The Board accepted her resignation with understanding, genuine regret, and great respect for her leadership of NPR these past two years.
"Vivian brought vision and energy to this organization. She led NPR back from the enormous economic challenges of the previous two years. She was passionately committed to NPR's mission, and to stations and NPR working collaboratively as a local-national news network.
"According to a CEO succession plan adopted by the Board in 2009, Joyce Slocum, SVP of Legal Affairs and General Counsel, has been appointed to the position of Interim CEO. The Board will immediately establish an Executive Transition Committee that will develop a timeframe and process for the recruitment and selection of new leadership."
Follow-up reports note that Vivian Schiller's leaving is seen to be in the best interest of NPR by both the NPR board and Schiller.
Vivian Schiller joined NPR in January 2009. Before that, she was senior vice president and general manager of NYTimes.com. Her previous experience includes top jobs at Discovery Times Channel and CNN Productions.