National Public Radio President/CEO Gary Knell has announced his departure from the broadcaster, to become President/CEO of National Geographic. Knell became CEO of NPR in late 2011 and will remain on board until the fall, "to ensure a smooth transition" as NPR seeks his successor.
In a memo to NPR staffers, Knell said, "As President and CEO, supporting NPR's success – your success – has been my highest ambition. Working together, we have put NPR on more solid footing to continue to deliver the highest-quality journalism and programming. We have launched innovative new platforms and made meaningful strides in attracting new audiences and new funding. We have promoted a series of collaborations in news gathering, development, and a digital future. And we have an exceptionally strong leadership team in place that is charting an ambitious path for our future."
"Gary and the management team have worked effectively to strengthen NPR as a world-class media organization, technological innovator and industry leader," said Kit Jensen, Chair of NPR's Board. "NPR has built a firm foundation for providing the highest quality journalism and programming. We will be working closely with Gary over the next few months, and deeply appreciate the lasting impact he has made."