The Search For NPR's New CEO Is On
March 13, 2008 at 5:44 AM (PT)
Just because it's "noncommercial" doesn't mean public radio doesn't have the same concerns about how to attract and retain listeners, and how to use rather than be run over by new technology, as its commercial brethren, writes THE SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER. And when there are disagreements about strategies to address those concerns, they can result in executive changes that are as public and messy as those on the commercial side of the business.
Such was the case last week when NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO announced the departure of CEO KEN STERN "by mutual agreement." The new CEO, on an interim basis, is someone who has worked for years on the affiliate side of the business -- DENNIS HAARSAGER. Until last week, HAARSAGER was Associate VP/GM of educational and public media at WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY. In that capacity, he ran NORTHWEST PUBLIC RADIO, which operates two networks of NPR programming and Classical music heard on stations and translators across the region.
NPR will now be conducting a national search for a permanent CEO. "My guess is it'll stretch into late summer or early fall," HAARSAGER said.
Could that permanent CEO be HAARSAGER?
He said he is "not intending" to be a candidate for the CEO's job on a permanent basis, but won't rule out the possibility. HAARSAGER has committed to serve as interim for up to a year. He has retired from WSU, so after NPR he will retire for real, do some consulting or look for another job.