WNYC CEO Criticized For Large Salary
June 8, 2009 at 5:17 AM (PT)
Popular gossip website GAWKER has taken shots at noncommercial WNYC-A-F/NEW YORK CEO LAURA WALKER's compensation, both for her making close to $500,000 a year and for her planned month-long sabbatical to GREECE. The site notes that WALKER's compensation, reported to be $486,688 as of JUNE 2007, was $60,000 more than NPR then-CEO KENNETH STERN made in 2007, and twice what the highest-paid employee at PUBLIC RADIO INTERNATIONAL makes. A subsequent report noted that WALKER's salary has been raised since then to $508,520.
The GAWKER report comes on the heels of WNYC making job cuts and an across-the-board 5% salary cut for senior employees, including WALKER. GAWKER raised the question of WALKER's importance to the WNYC operation if she can take a month-long sabbatical without affecting the operation.
Responding to GAWKER through a statement in the CHRONICLE OF PHILANTHROPY, WNYC Board of Trustees Chairman HERB SCANNELL said, "LAURA WALKER's leadership over the last 13 years has been exemplary, as she transformed the station from a municipal-run station into an independent, multi-platform journalistic organization. WNYC is now the most-listened-to public-radio station in the country, serving listeners in NEW YORK and beyond with 350 hours per week of original content on air and online. It's a record that speaks for itself."