Nieman Foundation at Harvard
America’s Test Kitchen, “the Consumer Reports of cooking,” wants to grow to new platforms
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Aug. 19, 2013, 12:25 p.m.
LINK:  ➚   |   Posted by: Joshua Benton   |   August 19, 2013

This would qualify as surprising news if it weren’t for the fact that NPR CEOs never seem to last much longer than it takes Click & Clack to diagnose what ails a 1978 Subaru Brat. (Knell was the sixth CEO in eight-plus years.) Many of those previous problems came because of tensions with NPR’s board, which (broadly speaking) means tension between the network and its member stations; NPR’s ace media reporter David Folkenflik says that doesn’t seem to be the case this time.

Now’s as good a time as any to look through our past conversations with Knell: our story upon his hiring in October 2011, our Q&A in March 2012, and his talk at the Nieman Foundation last October. (Video of that’s embedded below, followed by the press release.)

NPR President and CEO Gary E. Knell Announces Decision to Accept Leadership Position at the National Geographic Society

August 19, 2013; Washington, D.C. – The Board of Directors of NPR announced today that it has been informed by President and Chief Executive Officer Gary E. Knell that he will leave this fall to become President and CEO of the National Geographic Society. Knell will remain with NPR until then to work with the Board to ensure a smooth transition as it launches a search for his successor.

“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 the 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.”

In a letter to employees, Knell expressed confidence that the team at NPR is charting “an ambitious path” for the organization’s future and that he had decided to accept the unsolicited offer to become chief executive officer at National Geographic following “a great deal of personal reflection.’’

“NPR is and will always be a beacon of journalistic integrity, commitment and courage,” Knell said. “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with you.”

Knell became President and CEO of NPR in 2011. He and the leadership team have been developing a strategic plan to strengthen the organization by engaging NPR’s extensive network of Member Stations, generating high-quality cross-platform journalism and programming, finding new sources of philanthropic and corporate underwriting support, and attracting new audiences.

NPR is one of the nation’s premier news organizations. Since 2012, the organization has won more than twenty-five industry awards, including two George Foster Peabody Awards and two Gracie Awards.

About NPR
A thriving media organization at the forefront of digital innovation, NPR creates and distributes award-winning news, information, and music programming to a network of 975 independent stations. Through them, NPR programming reaches 27 million listeners every week, and nearly 23 million monthly on digital platforms. Visit to find local stations, listen to programs, music and stories, and learn more.

Show tags Show comments / Leave a comment
Join the 15,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
America’s Test Kitchen, “the Consumer Reports of cooking,” wants to grow to new platforms
“We’d like to move to other platforms, particularly as we see the changes in how people consume television.”
A program from Poynter and ONA is helping foster a community of female leaders in digital media
The Women’s Leadership Academy provides camaraderie and concrete advice beyond a bundle of platitudes.
Come talk ad blockers with Nieman Lab and a set of experts in New York
We’re having our first event in New York City with industry leaders: Wednesday, December 2 at 6 p.m.
What to read next
How one blog helped spark The New York Times’ digital evolution
“I certainly had editors tell me that I shouldn’t be wasting my time on Bird Week. But that was the best part of City Room…We were like unsupervised children.”
572News outlets left and right (and up, down, and center) are embracing virtual reality technology
Among those experimenting is The Wall Street Journal, which plans to open source its 360-degree mobile video and VR technology and hopes to turn VR into more of a mainstay of its storytelling.
502Podcasting in 2015 feels a lot like blogging circa 2004: exciting, evolving, and trouble for incumbents
The same trends we saw a decade ago — professionalization on one hand, platformization on the other — sure seem to be playing out again.
These stories are our most popular on Twitter over the past 30 days.
See all our most recent pieces ➚
Encyclo is our encyclopedia of the future of news, chronicling the key players in journalism’s evolution.
Here are a few of the entries you’ll find in Encyclo.   Get the full Encyclo ➚
Gawker Media
The Sunlight Foundation
The Orange County Register
Honolulu Civil Beat
ABC News
New England Center for Investigative Reporting
The Times of London
San Francisco Chronicle
Drudge Report