Top NPR official Ellen Weiss stepping down

The top news official at National Public Radio announced Thursday that she would leave her post, as the news outlet concluded an investigation into last year’s firing of news analyst Juan Williams.

ellen weiss NPR

She said she did not make the decision to fire Williams alone, referring to Schiller's approval of the move.

By James Rainey | Los Angeles Times

Ellen Weiss agreed to step down as senior vice president for news after 28 years with the radio network. Weiss had fired Williams for his comments on Fox News about fearing some Muslims who board airliners with him.

The Williams’ termination set off a furor and an admission by NPR Chief Executive Vivian Schiller that Williams had been let go too quickly, without a face-to-face meeting. The NPR board began a review and announced the results Thursday.

Schiller has been admonished for her part in the controversy and will not receive a bonus for 2010, according to a statement from the NPR board that was e-mailed to employees Thursday afternoon. She will remain in her post, though, and received a vote of confidence from the NPR board of directors, according to the statement.

“The Board has expressed confidence in Vivian Schiller’s leadership going forward. She accepted responsibility as CEO and cooperated fully with the review process,” the statement read. “The Board, however, expressed concern over her role in the termination process and has voted that she will not receive a 2010 bonus.”

The statement also said that “concerns regarding the speed and handling of the termination process” led the board to recommend other actions “with regard to management involved in Williams’ contract termination.” It did not explicitly say whether those actions concerned Weiss but that seemed evident when she tendered her resignation.

Weiss could not immediately be reached for comment.

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