NPR misleads on bonus CEO Vivian Schiller lost over Juan Williams firing

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter
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National Public Radio spokeswoman Anna Christopher told The Daily Caller on Friday afternoon that she wasn’t sure which information NPR would release regarding Chief Executive Vivian Schiller’s salary and bonuses – but some of those numbers appeared in a Washington Post story late Friday night.

“I most certainly don’t need to answer to you,” Christopher told TheDC when asked for further clarification on Saturday.

NPR’s board of directors is withholding Schiller’s next bonus as a penalty for her mismanagement of the Juan Williams debacle. The partially taxpayer funded media outlet won’t say how much that bonus would have been, but the Post reported that last year Schiller was paid a bonus of $112,500.

Given her base salary of $450,000, a lost bonus could slash her annual income by a quarter. According to the Post, the bonus Schiller lost for firing Williams hadn’t been calculated, but would be comparable to the May 2010 amount.

In an e-mail reply on Saturday morning to several requests for comment on why she and NPR had not provided this information to TheDC on Friday, Christopher said NPR provides its 990 tax forms on its website, which she said include salary information for executives.

“We didn’t release tax info yesterday — has been posted and is available to any person on our site,” Christopher said in an e-mail.

Schiller’s salary information, however, is not in the 990 forms. She is listed as working 40 hours per week on NPR’s latest 990 form, but, for “reportable compensation from the organization,” NPR lists “none.” The latest 990 form available on the organization’s website is from the 2009 fiscal year, from Oct. 1, 2008 through Sept. 30, 2009.

In 2009, NPR paid $1.22 million in salary and bonuses to Schiller’s predecessor Kevin Klose and another $1.22 million to NPR president Ken Stern. NPR says the amount paid to Stern swelled because the organization bought his contract out early.