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For immediate release
August 28, 2000
Jessamyn Sarmiento, NPR
202-414-2300
jsarmiento@npr.org

NPR Appoints Bruce Drake as Vice President for News and Information

Washington, DC - Bill Davis, NPR®'s Senior Vice President for Programming, announced today the appointment of Bruce Drake as Vice President for News and Information, effective immediately. Drake has served as acting Vice President for News since February 2000.

"Bruce Drake has been a leader at NPR since he joined us almost a decade ago. He is deeply experienced, with wide-ranging interests and a great instinct for radio journalism," said Kevin Klose, NPR President and CEO. "He has the character and vision to move NPR News to new heights, expand our coverage and assure the highest quality journalism for public radio listeners across the nation and around the world."

"The person who holds this job holds a special and important trust," said Drake. "It is a trust for the hard-working professionals at NPR, and at member stations. It is a trust held for the millions of listeners who count on the crucial role NPR News plays as a guardian and anchor of the highest standards in broadcast journalism."

As Vice President for News and Information, Drake heads a staff of more than 200 fulltime editors, producers, reporters, and on-air journalists based at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., and in 19 domestic bureaus and 11 foreign bureaus worldwide. NPR provides live hourly news reports and headline services via member public radio stations, NPR Onlinesm, and by 2001, also through NPR2, the recently announced satellite radio division.

"This is a time of enormous change in media," Drake said. "We can't take for granted that the ways people get their news will be the same tomorrow as they are today. The foremost task is to make sure that NPR News is always working to improve our programming and expand the depth and scope of our coverage, and serve new audiences through Online and satellite radio."

"The partnership between NPR and its member stations is the source of public radio's long-term competitive advantage, especially in this time of such rapid change. No other news provider - commercial or noncommercial - is able to create the high-quality mix of local, national and international content in the way that NPR and member stations can do on a daily basis. One of my priorities will be to strengthen these relationships."

Drake served as Managing Editor of NPR's News Division from August 1993 to February 2000. During his tenure, NPR News substantially expanded coverage, becoming a primary news provider for millions of listeners as well as remaining a source of the special radio journalism and features that are the network's trademarks.

Drake joined NPR as senior editor of the Washington Desk in 1991, and that year edited NPR Legal Affairs Correspondent Nina Totenberg's award-winning reports about University of Oklahoma law professor Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment by then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas. He also supervised NPR's live coverage of the Thomas confirmation hearings. In 1992 Drake headed NPR's election coverage.

Prior to joining NPR, Drake was a reporter and editor for the New York Daily News. From 1970 to 1975, he was general assignment reporter and later consumer affairs reporter, for which he won a National Press Club Award. He joined the Daily News Washington Bureau where he covered Congress and national politics (1975-79) and the Reagan campaigns of 1980 and 1984. He was White House correspondent 1980-87, and served as Washington Bureau news editor from 1987-91.

Drake graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a bachelor's degree in liberal arts.

Drake's predecessor, Jeffrey Dvorkin, held the same position from 1997 to January 2000. Dvorkin recently assumed the role of NPR's newly created Ombudsman, as the point person to receive, independently investigate and respond to queries from the public regarding editorial standards in NPR's programming.

Renowned for its journalistic excellence and standard-setting news, information, and cultural programming, NPR serves a growing audience of nearly 15 million Americans each week via more than 644 public radio stations. NPR also distributes programming to listeners in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa via NPR Worldwidesm, to military installations overseas via American Forces Network and throughout Japan via cable.