National Public Radio chief executive Ken Stern stepped down yesterday amid increasing static from the board about his ambitious plans for the network, reports the Washington Post. Stern oversaw rapid expansion that boosted revenue from $65 million to $200 million since joining NPR in 1999, and made the organization into the world's biggest producer of podcasts. But station managers often felt the push into new media came at the expense of serving local audiences.
The chairman of the board, who will be replacing Stern temporarily while NPR looks for a replacement, praised Stern's successes, but said board members looked at a "mutldimensional set of circumstances"—which he declined to name—before deciding not to renew Stern's tenure "by mutual agreement." Stern's exit is the latest in a series of high-level departures at NPR, which this week signed a deal to stay in Washington D.C.