NPR CEO Jarl Mohn is stepping down in June “at the end of his five-year term to focus on a newly created position to lead the public radio network’s fundraising drive ahead of its 50th anniversary in 2020.” You should totally read the full report from the organization’s own David Folkenflik on the matter, which has good chunks of context. The chunk that stands out to me, though:
Mohn arrived at the network in the summer of 2014 bursting with energy. He ousted NPR’s chief content officer, Kinsey Wilson, a few months later, as part of a larger turnover in the network’s top executive ranks. The two leaders clashed over whether to pursue growth in NPR’s radio audiences. Wilson favored a more aggressive single-minded focus on digital for NPR, arguing that radio audiences had at best plateaued, and were most likely to fall.
“I don’t believe flat is the new up,” Mohn told staffers that fall. “Some people do.”
This chunk remind me of the opening scene in this 2015 Politico report by Joe Pompeo, which over the years has become a really interesting document to me.
Anyway, Mohn will leave the organization having left a significant legacy — overseeing strong Post-Trump broadcast ratings and an enviable podcast operation — that will also likely be marred by the Michael Oreskes sexual harassment crisis.
The search for a replacement, then, is on. I wonder if the board will hire from within the public radio family… or if they will repeat what they did with Mohn, which is to bring in someone from the commercial world. Hmm.