NPR vice president behind firing of Juan Williams resigns post

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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On Thursday, the NPR revealed findings from its Board of Directors’ review of the Juan Williams firing back in October. But also buried in the release was the announcement that Ellen Weiss, senior vice-president for news at NPR, would also be stepping down.

According to the release, recommendations have been made in the wake of Williams’ termination. However, it concluded the non-profit radio organization acted within its rights in the termination and the organization was not forced to do so because of “special interests or donor pressure.”

“Williams’ contract was terminated in accordance with its terms. The contract gave both parties the right to terminate on 30 days’ notice for any reason,” the release said. “The facts gathered during the review revealed that the termination was not the result of special interest group or donor pressure. However, because of concerns regarding the speed and handling of the termination process, the Board additionally recommended that certain actions be taken with regard to management involved in Williams’ contract termination.”

Just days prior to Williams’ firing, billionaire hedge-fund manager George Soros, a contributor to various liberal causes, had donated $1.8 million to NPR.

Nonetheless, NPR Board of Directors chairman Dave Edwards reiterated the point that concerns would be addressed over the incident.

“We have taken this situation very seriously and the Board believes these recommendations and remedial steps address the concerns raised in connection with the termination of Williams’ contract,” said Edwards. “The Board regrets this incident’s impact on NPR and will work with NPR’s CEO, Vivian Schiller, to ensure that these actions will be expeditiously completed, examined, and monitored on an ongoing basis.”