Last week, NPR announced that its CEO, Jarl Mohn, will step down from the position upon ending his contract in June of 2019. He will, however, continue to work with NPR as President Emeritus, building relationships with donors and will be on the board of the NPR Foundation, serving as the co-chair of the capital campaign tied to NPR’s 50th anniversary in 2020. Mohn and his wife Pamela are donating $10 million to the network.
“My wife Pam and I are more committed than ever to helping NPR and public radio achieve long term financial stability, particularly at a time when journalism is under economic and political pressures,” he said in a memo to staff.
The CEO cited his commute between Washington, D.C., and his home in Los Angeles as one reason for his decision. It “was taking its toll,” he told NPR’s David Folkenflik. Paul Haaga, chair of NPR’s board of directors, told Folkenflik that the board had asked Mohn to continue in the position.
When he joined the network in 2014, Mohn took over an organization that had cut staff to balance its budget the previous year. Its three previous CEOs had all left after fewer than three years in the job. In his almost 5 year tenure, Mohn has helped NPR grow its business and audience.
NPR said that its Board of Directors will conduct a nationwide search for Mohn’s replacement. Folkenflik reported that executives and managers inside NPR see Loren Mayor, the network’s Chief Operating Officer, as a “strong potential internal candidate to replace Mohn.”
Mohn wrote a note to the NPR staff reading, “My wife PAM and I are more committed than ever to helping NPR and public radio achieve long term financial stability, particularly at a time when journalism is under economic and political pressures. We are so confident in the future of this organization that we are announcing our personal donation of $10 million to NPR as well as our long term personal commitment to the organization. We invite others who care about quality journalism and public service to join us in investing in this remarkable institution and its journalists.”