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Politics Last Updated: Mar 11th, 2011 - 15:30:48

Vivian Schiller Resigns as NPR CEO
Caroline Lorraine

Mar 10, 2011, 06:25

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Vivian Schiller stepped down from her post as CEO of NPR on Wednesday in the wake of a hidden-camera scandal involving a fellow executive.

NPR chairman Dave Edwards said the board of directors accepted her resignation, effective immediately.

Schiller's resignation came one day after Ron Schiller (no relation to Vivian Schiller), NPR's former senior vice president for funding, was heard in an undercover video calling the Tea Party movement "racist" and "xenophobic."

"I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it's scary. They're seriously racist, racist people," Ron Schiller said in the video, which was taped by a conservative activist. "The Tea Party is fanatically involved in people's personal lives and very fundamental Christian. I wouldn't even call it Christian. It's this weird evangelical kind of move."

Ron Schiller also said in the video that NPR would be better off without federal funding. 

NPR is currently facing serious threats to its congressional funding, and Vivian Schiller said Ron Schiller's remarks were outrageous and came at an unfortunate time, The Associated Press reports.

Ron Schiller, who had previously announced his resignation before the video was recorded, apologized for the comments and stepped down Tuesday.

Vivian Schiller faced criticism last year for the firing of news analyst Juan Williams after he said on Fox News that seeing passengers in "Muslim garb" on airplanes makes him uncomfortable.

"The Board accepted her resignation with understanding, genuine regret, and great respect for her leadership of NPR these past two years," Edwards said in a statement. "I recognize the magnitude of this news and that it comes on top of what has been a traumatic period for NPR and the larger public radio community."

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