NPR announces that an “independent review” of its firing of Juan Williams has been completed and that its Board has taken certain actions in response to the findings of that review. These actions include “appropriate disciplinary action with respect to certain management employees involved in the termination” of Williams.
One manager involved in the termination is Vivian Schiller, the CEO. NPR says in its announcement that the Board is “concerned” about her role in the sacking of Williams and that she will receive no bonus for 2010.
The manager who actually fired Williams is Ellen Weiss, senior vice president for news. NPR says in the same announcement that she has “resigned.”
An NPR spokesperson later said that Weiss’ resignation and the completion of the independent review are “distinct pieces of news.” But NPR’s announcment suggests otherwise. It states that disciplinary action was taken against managers involved in the Williams firing. Weiss was the primary such manager. And the sentence announcing her “resignation” appears directly under the statement announcing that Schiller was denied a bonus.
Williams, for his part, seems to welcome the departure of Weiss. He says she was a symbol of the “very ingrown, incestuous culture” at NPR, and that her departure is “good news for NPR and people who care about the news.”
That may be. However, I would be very surprised if her absence prompts any meaningful change in NPR’s culture or in the way NPR reports the news. If any reader finds that it does, please let me know. I’ll start tuning in again.
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