Daily Archives: March 9, 2011

NPR CEO’s Resignation Reverberates Through WBUR

Published March 9, 2011

Vivian Schiller

Vivian Schiller

As you likely know by now, NPR President and CEO Vivian Schiller resigned today, following inflammatory remarks by NPR’s chief fundraiser and last fall’s controversial dismissal of news analyst Juan Williams. NPR’s top news executive, Ellen Weiss, resigned following Williams’ dismissal.

The move is reverberating through public radio stations around the country, including here in Boston. Here’s the newscast spot WBUR’s Deborah Becker filed for All Things Considered:

The NPR board asked for Vivian Schiller’s resignation after an undercover video showed an NPR executive making controversial comments and saying NPR would be better off without federal funding. Congress is considering whether to cut $90 million for public radio, which would likely affect all 764 NPR member stations. Among them is WBUR, which could lose more than $1 million if federal funding is cut.

WBUR General Manager Charles Kravetz says the effect on ‘BUR is not yet clear.

“I think that ‘BUR is in a healthy position. But we’re yet to see if there is an impact from what’s going on at NPR on our overall financial health. I’m optimistic.”

Kravetz is concerned that smaller stations may not survive without federal funding.

Just last hour, Kravetz spoke at greater length on Radio Boston with Anthony Brooks. Listen here:

Our two national shows also covered the resignation, with On Point devoting its second hour to NPR and public funding and Here & Now discussing the news with the New York Times’ Brian Stelter.

From NPR’s Two-Way Blog:

Wednesday Morning: Blue Cross Blue Board

Published March 9, 2011

In a bit of breaking news, NPR just reported that its CEO, Vivian Schiller, has resigned. You’ll hear more about her resignation throughout the day on Here & Now and On Point.


After public outcry over the payment of an $11.3 million severance package to former CEO Cleve Killingsworth and annual payments to each member of its board of directors, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts announced yesterday it has suspended pay to its board.

Blue Cross Blue Shield may also be eyeing a move away from its non-profit status. Yesterday, Radio Boston dove into the issue of non-profit pay in the state’s health industry and spoke with Paul Guzzi, a member of the Blue Cross board.

President Obama yesterday got a first-hand look at many of the issues Boston struggles with daily. After touting the use of technology in the classroom at TechBoston Academy in Dorchester, Obama met the Celtics and raised over $1 million for congressional Democrats at a reception at the MFA. A tale of two cities in one day. You can watch Obama’s full speech at TechBoston.

As WBUR’s David Boeri reports, it wasn’t the happiest of birthdays for, Joseph Lally, a co-defendant of former House Speaker Sal DiMasi in DiMasi’s ongoing corruption trial. In what may prove to be a pivotal moment in the trial, Lally struck a plea deal with prosecutors yesterday.

A Harvard researcher won one of the highest honors in the field of computing. Leslie Valiant was named the winner of the 2010 A.M. Turing Award, considered by some to be the Nobel Prize of computer science.

In an effort to combat the rising tide of budget shortfalls, mayors and town managers pleaded with the state Legislature yesterday to give them the power to reduce health insurance costs without negotiating with unions.

What we’re watching: We’ll continue to follow the Blue Cross story, school closings in Providence, R.I., and the fight over federal home heating assistance. Radio Boston will speak with Jane McGonigal, author of “Reality is Broken,” who says that video games make us better, more productive people.