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Defund them now: NPR CEO attacks Williams’ sanity, then retracts; Update: Williams signed to new, $2 million FNC contract

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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 21, 2010 03:36 PM

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Oh, crikey. This didn’t just happen, did it?

Yes. It. Did. From the NPR website:

NPR CEO Vivian Schiller just released this statement:

“I spoke hastily and I apologize to Juan and others for my thoughtless remark.”

That follows, as you’ll see below, her comment earlier today that now-former NPR news analyst Juan Williams should have kept his feelings about Muslims between himself and “his psychiatrist or his publicist.”

Our original post:

Fired NPR news analyst Juan Williams should have kept his feeling about Muslims between himself and “his psychiatrist or his publicist,” the network’s CEO told an audience at the Atlanta Press Club earlier today.

The Associated Press adds that:

Schiller said Williams’ firing is not a reflection of his comments (on Fox News Channel) that he gets nervous when he sees people in Muslim garb on an airplane. She said she has no problem with people taking controversial positions, but that such opinions should not come from NPR reporters or news analysts. Williams, Schiller said, is a news analyst, not a commentator or columnist.

And, she said the firing came after “several cases” of Williams veering from journalistic ethics.

Who is Vivian Schiller? Previous employers: NYTimes and CNN.

Here:

A media executive and journalist with 25 years experience in the industry, Vivian Schiller joined NPR as President and CEO in January 2009. Schiller leads all NPR’s worldwide media operations, including the organization’s partnerships with a network of more than 900 public radio stations, and their service to the nearly 30 million people who listen to NPR programming.

In her role, Schiller is charged with assuring the fiscal, operational and journalistic integrity of NPR, building the organization and revenue base to further the public service mission of the NPR member network. As a strong advocate of innovation, she is a key driver in leveraging new technologies to advance NPR’s core mission and grow audience for all of public media.

Schiller’s vision for the future of public radio is one that has at its core the unique and powerful relationship NPR has with our member stations. Her clear and strong commitment to the importance of partnership in public service journalism – with NPR’s stations, listeners, and others in public media – is a hallmark of her presidency.

Since assuming her President and CEO role, NPR not only continues to receive the highest honors in excellence in journalism, but has also garnered attention of media critics and earned recognition in the mobile and digital space. Under her leadership, NPR was named in 2009 and 2010 by Fast Company Magazine as one of the World’s Top 50 Most Innovative Companies in Media and cited as an Innovation All-Star for 2010. As NPR’s first female CEO and one of very few women running who have ever run a large news organization, Schiller was listed as one of Washington, DC’s Most Powerful Women by both Working Mother and Washingtonian Magazine.

Prior to joining NPR, Vivian Schiller served at The New York Times Company as Senior Vice President and General Manager of NYTimes.com. Schiller led the day-to-day operations of NYTimes.com, the largest newspaper website on the Internet, overseeing product, technology, marketing, classifieds, strategic planning, and business development.

Previously, Schiller spent four years as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Discovery Times Channel, a joint venture of The New York Times and Discovery Communications. Schiller launched the network, and under her leadership, Discovery Times Channel tripled its distribution while achieving critical acclaim for its award winning journalistic programming.

Schiller also served as Senior Vice President of CNN Productions, where she led CNN’s long-form programming efforts. Documentaries and series produced under her auspices earned multiple honors, including three Peabody Awards, four Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards, and dozens of Emmys.

Schiller began her career as a simultaneous Russian interpreter in the former Soviet Union, which led her to documentary production work for Turner Broadcasting.

As NPR’s President, Schiller is an ex officio member of the NPR Board and serves as Chairman of the National Public Media Board. In a volunteer community service role, Schiller also serves as co-Chair of the National Literacy Project.

Schiller resides in Bethesda, MD, with her husband and two children.

***

Silver lining, courtesy of Roger Ailes:

As National Public Radio weathered a storm of criticism Thursday for its decision to fire news analyst Juan Williams for his comments about Muslims, Fox News moved aggressively to turn the controversy to its advantage by signing Williams to an expanded role at the cable news network.

Fox News Chief Executive Roger Ailes handed Williams a new three-year contract Thursday morning, in a deal that amounts to nearly $2 million, a considerable bump up from his previous salary, the Tribune Washington Bureau has learned. The Fox News contributor will now appear exclusively and more frequently on the cable news network and have a regular column on FoxNews.com.

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