March 6, 2008
Contact:
Andi Sporkin, NPR

   

NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO CEO TO DEPART

Current Board Chairman Dennis Haarsager
Will Become Interim Chief Executive Officer;

Board to Conduct National Search for Permanent Replacement


Washington, D.C.; March 6, 2008 - The National Public Radio Board of Directors announced today that Ken Stern, Chief Executive Officer, will be leaving NPR by mutual agreement. Stern has served at NPR for 10 years, as Chief Operating Officer and more recently, CEO. The full Board has asked its current Chairman, Dennis L. Haarsager, to serve as interim CEO while the Board conducts a national search for a permanent replacement. Howard Stevenson, currently Board Vice Chair, will perform the duties of the Board Chairman. NPR President Kevin Klose will continue in his current position, which he has held since December 1998.

Stevenson said, "We appreciate the many contributions Ken Stern has made to National Public Radio in various roles over the last decade and wish him well in his future endeavors. During his tenure, Ken was instrumental in improving NPR's financial health and for initiating important work extending NPR's reach to various new platforms including satellite and digital distribution. Under his watch, NPR News significantly increased the number of staff, foreign and domestic bureaus and areas of coverage. With the superb programming we now have in place - and a doubling of the public radio system's audience over the last seven years from 13 million to 26 million weekly listeners - the public radio system and NPR are well-positioned to gain even more listeners."

Stevenson continued, "NPR is in excellent financial shape and we are pleased with the announcement yesterday that we have acquired a well-situated site for our new headquarters - which will include public space for live shows and events. This much needed building should become a reality within a few years and will likely become a national tourist attraction for public radio fans across the country and web users worldwide. I look forward to working closely with Dennis and the rest of our management team as we continue NPR's forward progress and in making a smooth transition in leadership."

NPR's interim CEO, Dennis Haarsager, has served on the NPR Board of Directors since 2005 and as Chairman since 2007, and has previously served on a number of national boards in public broadcasting, including the Station Resource Group, PBS (Public Broadcasting Service) and APTS (America's Public Television Service). He has also won national leadership awards in public radio and television as well as digital media. With a long career in public radio and television, Haarsager is widely considered an industry leader in emerging and digital media. He is currently Associate Vice President and General Manager of Educational and Public Media at Washington State University, and previously served as State Coordinator for Idaho Public Broadcasting. He holds an M.A. and B.S. in Government from the University of South Dakota, and completed the Advanced Management Development Program at Harvard University.

About NPR
NPR is renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news and entertainment programming. A privately supported, non-profit, membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of 26 million Americans each week via nearly 850 public radio stations. International partners in cable, satellite and short-wave services make NPR programming accessible anywhere in the world. With original online content and audio streaming, npr.org offers hourly newscasts, special features and seven years of archived audio and information. NPR's numerous awards include a 2000 National Medal of Arts.