Jan 28, 2011

Lingering questions about NPR post- Williams

How much did the heavy-handed management style of former NPR news chief Ellen Weiss have to do with her forced resignation in the wake of the Juan Williams firing? Paul Farhi at the Washington Post gets an inside look and finds a communication breakdown between Weiss and NPR CEO Vivian Schiller, and some relief inside the NPR newsroom at Weiss's departure. Here's part of the story:
Inside NPR, Weiss's sudden departure caused mixed reactions. While some saw it as capitulation to outside pressure, others were privately joyful. They viewed Weiss's tenure as divisive and questioned her judgment on several fronts, especially her personnel decisions. 

Some of the hard feelings toward Weiss in NPR's newsroom sprang from a bruising cutback in December 2008, the first employee layoffs at NPR in 25 years. NPR eliminated 64 jobs and wiped out three programs in a move designed to close a $23 million budget gap. Some of NPR's most-seasoned journalists were let go, including hosts Alex Chadwick and Jacki Lyden, correspondents John McChesney and Elaine Korry and editor Marcus Rosenbaum. (Lyden was later restored to part-time status.)

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