NPR changes leadership as harassment issues linger
NEW YORK (AP) — National Public Radio elected new leadership on its board of directors on Thursday as the organizations deals with sex harassment issues that led to its top news executive recently being ousted.
NPR said Paul Haaga, retired chairman of the Capital Research and Management Co., will be its new board chairman. He’s a former acting CEO of NPR and has been active in the organization’s management since 2011. Haaga replaces Roger LaMay, general manager of a public radio station in Philadelphia, who chose not to run for another term.
Jo Anne Wallace, an executive at KQED in San Francisco, will be vice chairman.
The changes to the oversight board come two weeks after Michael Oreskes, leader of NPR’s newsroom, lost his job following complaints by women of uncomfortable conversations, and reports of unwanted advances toward women when he worked at The New York Times nearly two decades ago.
Oreskes was a vice president and senior managing editor at The Associated Press from 2008 until he joined NPR in 2015. The AP had one complaint of “unwelcome and inappropriate verbal communication” while Oreskes was at the news organization.
NPR correspondents David Folkenflik and Merrit Kennedy reported Thursday that three female journalists filed complaints about unexpected advances from another NPR news executive, David Sweeney. NPR said Sweeney, who would not comment on the case to the network’s own journalists, had been placed on leave.
An NPR spokeswoman said the company would not discuss whether or not Sweeney had been the subject of complaints. “We encourage people to come forward with any concerns they may have about situations that have made them feel uncomfortable and we review them thoroughly to ensure a safe, comfortable and productive work environment,” the network said.