NPR Taps Gary E. Knell As Pres./CEO
October 3, 2011 at 2:23 AM (PT)
As ALL ACCESS first reported YESTERDAY (NET NEWS 10/2), SESAME WORKSHOP Pres./CEO GARY E. KNELL has been named President and CEO of NPR, the network announced SUNDAY. KNELL will join NPR on DECEMBER 1st; he joined SESAME WORKSHOP in 1998 and became COO in 1998 and CEO in 2000. Previously, KNELL was Managing Director of MANAGER MEDIA INTERNATIONAL and SVP/General Counsel of PBS affiliate WNET (TV)/NEWARK-NEW YORK, and presently serves on the Council on Foreign Relations and the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. He replaces VIVIAN SCHILLER, who exited in MARCH after controversies over the firing of commentator JUAN WILLIAMS and comments by a fundraiser criticizing Conservatives and the Tea Party.
Board of Directors Chairman DAVE EDWARDS said, "GARY is an extraordinary leader with extensive experience in public media, programming and education. As CEO of SESAME WORKSHOP for more than a decade, he has led a large, complex organization through a tumultuous media environment, helping it grow by providing innovative, engaging content in new and creative ways. He has the skills, experience, talent and vision to lead NPR into an even more dynamic future, while maintaining its commitment to serve Member stations and the public. That's why, after an in-depth and collaborative search, the Board unanimously chose GARY."
"I'm thrilled to join NPR," KNELL said. "Over the past 40 years, it's grown from an inspired idea to one of the world's most respected and leading providers of news, music and cultural programming -- both on the air and across ever-expanding digital platforms. This is media with a deeply held mission, compelling history and boundless future. Simply put: it's journalism at its best. What an opportunity to work with the incredibly talented staff here, and to partner with stations, as we continue to innovate, expand civil dialog and set the standard for media."