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Thu January 6, 2011
NPR's Ellen Weiss resigns after Juan Williams review
National Public Radio released two statements this afternoon.
One statement is about the independent review of the firing of NPR news analyst Juan Williams (ABC News did an interview with Williams after he was terminated).
The other is about the resignation of NPR's Senior Vice President for News, Ellen Weiss.
The two appear to be linked. Weiss was the NPR staffer who fired Juan Williams over the phone.
The first statement about Williams' termination highlights recommendations made by the independent reviewers (Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP):
The recommendations and remedial measures range from new internal procedures concerning personnel and on air-talent decisions to taking appropriate disciplinary action with respect to certain management employees involved in the termination.
The second statement is from NPR CEO Vivian Schiller announcing Weiss' resignation.
Schiller thanked Weiss for her service to NPR (Weiss spent 14 years in the news division), and addressed the review of the Juan Williams firing:
"The review surfaces important issues that I have committed to address in terms of how we operate internally. Most of the actions to be taken are already in process... That will be followed by information sessions for all News staff and some outside the newsroom. We’ve also strengthened our termination procedures and our communications protocols."
Schiller was the focus of a lot of the criticism in the wake of the Juan Williams firing.
After NPR fired Williams, several members of Congress have called for an end to federal funding for public broadcasting.
As NPR's David Folkinflik reported in the wake of the Williams firing, "NPR receives roughly 2% of its annual income directly from federal sources such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts, but its member stations rely more heavily on such sources."