Jarl Mohn is a surprise choice to run an institution largely known for news — but well known in media as a guy who likes to shake things up. That includes his name: he changed it years ago when he was already well known as Lee Masters. The one time NYC disc jockey became an exec at MTV and VH1 when they were considered cutting edge. He later took leadership roles at Liberty Digital and E! Entertainment Television, served on the boards of CNET, XM Satellite Radio, and E.W. Scripps and was chairman of Southern California Public Radio. “This is not a job for me,” he says. “It is a mission. I love public radio and NPR. It is a national treasure and more important now than ever.”
But NPR has had a hard time keeping CEOs. In August Gary Knell left after 21 months on the job to run National Geographic Society. He succeeded Vivian Schiller who was forced to resign over a string of controversies. In September NPR hoped to cut its staff by 10% by offering staffers a voluntary buyout. It was part of a two-year plan to eliminate an operating cash deficit expected to hit $6.1M.
Here’s today’s release about Mohn: (more…)