NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller has resigned, NPR just announced.According to NPR's website, the new NPR boss apparently has a background in what Senator DeMint calls the "Muppet Lobby's" licensing business, marketing Barney, Thomas the Tank Engine and Sesame Street. In addition, she had been NPR's "Chief Ethics Officer" (sic)--therefore, logically responsible for the type of ethical problems at NPR revealed in James O'Keefe's hidden camera expose, which must have occured under her "ethics guidelines" and obviously on her watch:
This follows yesterday's news that then-NPR fundraiser Ron Schiller (no relation) was videotapped slamming conservatives and questioning whether NPR needs federal funding during a lunch with men posing as members of a Muslim organization (they were working with political activist James O'Keefe on a "sting.")
Vivian Schiller quickly condemned Ron Schiller's comments, and he moved up an already-announced decision to leave NPR and resigned effectively immediately. But Ron Schiller's gaffe followed last fall's dismissal of NPR political analyst Juan Williams, for which Vivian Schiller came under harsh criticism.
NPR just sent this 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.
"I recognize the magnitude of this news – and that it comes on top of what has been a traumatic period for NPR and the larger public radio community. The Board is committed to supporting NPR through this interim period and has confidence in NPR's leadership team."
Joyce Slocum joined NPR in July 2008 and serves as Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs, and General Counsel. She is responsible for directing all legal and business activities and the staff of the Office of the General Counsel. In addition, Slocum serves as NPR's Chief Ethics Officer and as Secretary to the NPR Board of Directors.
Prior to joining NPR, Slocum was Executive Vice President, Global Legal and Business Affairs, and General Counsel at HIT Entertainment, a leading provider of high-quality children's programming worldwide. There, she oversaw all legal and business affairs aspects of the company's content production, acquisition, and distribution businesses (more than 1,500 hours in its catalogue), directing a 23-person in-house legal team. Slocum assumed the role at HIT in 2001, when it acquired ownership of Lyrick Corporation, a privately owned entertainment company that she joined in 1994 to establish that company's first in-house legal department. Following the HIT/Lyrick acquisition, the combined companies' legal and business affairs worldwide were consolidated under Slocum's leadership.
Among her accomplishments, she was a key participant in bringing together HIT, PBS, Sesame Workshop, and Comcast Cable to establish the 24/7 pre-school children's channel PBS Kids Sprout. Launched in 2005, Sprout is now available on digital cable and satellite to over 45 million homes. Slocum also played a critical role in HIT's acquisition of Gullane Entertainment, a publicly traded UK company which owned the Guinness World Records and Thomas the Tank Engine properties, among others, and in acquiring representation rights for other famous properties.
From 1984 to 1994, Slocum was staff attorney for The Southland Corporation, where her work included international licensing and franchising, involvement with the company's business expansion, and serving as a liaison between the company and its licensees, franchise owners' groups, community groups, and government officials. Slocum's early legal career was as an associate at the firm Johnson & Swanson in Dallas.
She received her B.A. from Southern Illinois University and her J.D. cum laude from St. Louis University School of Law.