Wow. NPR has concluded its internal review of the conditions surrounding the termination of commentator Juan Williams, and NPR’s news chief Ellen Weiss is out of a job. From an NPR release:
“— Williams’ contract was terminated in accordance with its terms. The contract gave both parties the right to terminate on 30 days’ notice for any reason. The facts gathered during the review revealed that the termination was not the result of special interest group or donor pressure. However, because of concerns regarding the speed and handling of the termination process, the Board additionally recommended that certain actions be taken with regard to management involved in Williams’ contract termination.
“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 Board, however, expressed concern over her role in the termination process and has voted that she will not receive a 2010 bonus.
“NPR also announced that Ellen Weiss, Senior Vice-President for News, has resigned.
” ‘We have taken this situation very seriously and the Board believes these recommendations and remedial steps address the concerns raised in connection with the termination of Williams’ contract,’ said Dave Edwards, Chair. ‘The Board regrets this incident’s impact on NPR and will work with NPR’s CEO, Vivian Schiller, to ensure that these actions will be expeditiously completed, examined, and monitored on an ongoing basis.’
UPDATE: NPR spokesman Anna Christopher tells Yahoo that “these are two distinct pieces of news.” I suppose that is ontologically true. But are we really meant to believe that the Weiss resignation isn’t related to the conclusion of the review? Weiss fired Williams, and in a release detailing the conclusions of an internal review into that event, in the course of describing disciplinary actions taken in light of it, Weiss’s resignation after nearly 30 years of employment is matter-of-factly announced.
Meanwhile, Juan Williams tells Fox News that Weiss was a symbol of the “very ingrown, incestuous culture” at NPR and that her departure is “good news for NPR and people who care about the news.”
Williams said allowing Weiss to resign stood as ”quite a contrast to how they treated me.”