LOS ANGELES (LALATE) – Vivian Schiller has resigned from NPR. Vivian Schiller’s resignation comes five months after the firing of Juan Williams. NPR’s Ombudsman Alicia C. Shepard told news in October 2010 that Vivian Schiller did not handle the Juan Williams NPR firing correctly.
Dave Edwards, chairman of NPR’s board of directors, said in a news statement that the NPR board has accepted Vivian Schiller’s resignation with “understanding, genuine regret, and great respect for her leadership of NPR these past two years.”
While Edwards had positive remarks for Schiller to news today, that was not fan reaction to her handling of Juan Williams’s firing in October. Alicia C. Shepard made clear that the termination of Juan Williams prompted the largest one day reaction to NPR in recent years.
In fact, Shepard told news that the NPR Williams firing drew nearly 7,000 comments from readers; the NPR server crashed handling email submissions from readers reacting to the news; that nearly 8,000 emails were processed in one day alone; and that NPR telephones never stopped ringing.
Shepard called the firing of Williams a “public relations nightmare” because he was given no opportunity allegedly respond to the firing.
“The overwhelming majority are angry, furious, outraged. They want NPR to hire him back immediately. If NPR doesn’t, they want all public funding of public radio to stop” Shepherd detailed at the time. “They promise to never donate again. They are as mad as h-ll, and want everyone to know it. It was daunting to answer the phone and hear so much unrestrained anger.”
Joyce Slocum, SVP of Legal Affairs and General Counsel, will take over for Schiller as 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” said NPR in a statement to news today.