The Post has a good story in today’s paper about what was going on at NPR when news executive Ellen Weiss quit/was pushed out/left the broadcaster in the wake of her firing of Juan Williams.
The results of an internal investigation into Weiss’s firing, writes the Post’s Paul Farhi, found that “the reasons behind [NPR boss Vivian] Schiller‘s ultimatum to Weiss were more complex” and touched on more than just the Williams firing.
“More than a dozen NPR employees, including some of its well-known hosts, aired long-standing grievances to investigators about Weiss’s management style, particularly the way she had carried out a series of layoffs and terminations in 2008. Weiss’s decision to fire Williams without benefit of a face-to-face meeting sounded familiar to those who recounted similar episodes, according to people who spoke with the investigating team.”
And, according to NPR sources, Weiss may have even fired Williams before getting Schiller’s OK.
But Weiss supporters said that Juan Williams’ contract was already slated not to be renewed, so what was the big deal? “‘If Vivian wanted more consulting [on Oct. 20], she would have and should have said so,’ said one person close to the situation. Blaming Weiss, this person said, was merely a smoke screen that helped Schiller keep her job and appease critics inside and outside NPR.”