NPR CEO Vivian Schiller resigns

March 9, 2011 at 12:52 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 9 (UPI) -- National Public Radio in Washington says its chief executive officer Vivian Schiller has resigned.

CNN reported Schiller quit in the wake of a hidden-camera scandal involving Ron Schiller, NPR's former senior vice president for fund-raising. The two Schillers are not related.

Ron Schiller was heard in an undercover conversation videotaped by a conservative activist saying, "Tea Party people" aren't "just Islamophobic, but really xenophobic."

"I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it's scary. They're seriously racist, racist people," Ron Schiller said on the tape. "The Tea Party is fanatically involved in people's personal lives and very fundamental Christian. I wouldn't even call it Christian. It's this weird evangelical kind of move."

Ron Schiller also said NPR is "better off without federal funding."

The remarks were made to two men Ron Schiller believed were from a Muslim charitable organization offering a possible $5 million donation. The offer apparently was not accepted.

Ron Schiller, who had announced his departure from NPR before he was recorded, apologized for his remarks and resigned from his post Tuesday.

Dave Edwards, chairman of NPR's board of directors, said in a statement posted on NPR's Web site Wednesday the board accepted Vivian Schiller's resignation "with understanding, genuine regret and great respect for her leadership of NPR these past two years," CNN reported.

Joyce Slocum, NPR's senior vice president of legal affairs and general counsel, has been appointed interim CEO.

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