NPR announced Monday that after two years, President/CEO Gary E. Knell will leave this fall to become President and CEO of the National Geographic Society. Knell will stay with NPR during the interim to work with NPR’s board of directors to ensure a smooth transition during the search for his successor. Knell became President and CEO of NPR in 2011. Prior to that he was the longtime President and CEO of Sesame Workshop.
“Gary and the management team have worked effectively to strengthen NPR as a world-class media organization, technological innovator and industry leader,” said board chairman Kit Jensen. “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 CEO at National Geographic following “a great deal of personal reflection.”
“NPR is and will always be a beacon of journalistic integrity, commitment and courage,” said Knell. “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to work with you.”