The Campaign Spot

The Golden Parachutes at Taxpayer-Funded NPR

The big news this morning is the resignation of NPR CEO Vivian Schiller, after NPR executives were caught on videotape mocking the Tea Parties, appearing to concur with the contention that Jews control newspapers, and discussing a $5 million donation from two men claiming to represent an organization tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The departure of heads of NPR can prove costly for the organization, which is funded in part by the U.S. taxpayer. According to NPR’s 990 financial disclosure form with the IRS, in 2008, former NPR CEO Kenneth Stern received $872,189 in severance payments. Stern was reportedly forced out by the NPR’s corporate board after less than 18 months in the top job.

To her credit, Schiller understood that the organization was facing tough times and felt a need to lead by example; the fiscal 2009 form indicates she took no compensation from NPR.

However, I suppose she’ll be entitled to a severance package . . .

Also note those 990 forms are fascinating troves of information.

NPR president Kevin Klose’s compensation that year was an eye-opening $1,176,202. Interim CEO Dennis Haarsager’s compensation amounted to $315,878 that year.

I’ve heard early and often that journalism jobs have lousy pay (and I’ve had bad years and I’ve had good years). But NPR’s Michele Norris, whom many would call a first-class journalist, enjoyed a 2008 base salary of $286,144.


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