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Ellen Weiss named Vice President for News, NPR


Ellen Weiss, an award-winning broadcast news executive who has served as head of the NPR News National Desk and Executive Producer of the top-rated daily NPR News magazine All Things Considered, has been named Vice President for News, NPR.

In this role – the organization’s top news management position – Weiss will oversee NPR’s worldwide journalism operations, including 18 domestic and 18 foreign bureaus; more than 400 staff members; more than 50 hours of news programming weekly, and NPR’s award-winning investigations, longform series and other special reporting. Weiss has served as Acting Vice President for News since October 2006.

Yesterday, Weiss was named along with correspondent Daniel Zwerdling and editor Anne Hawke as recipients of a George Foster Peabody Award. They are being recognized for the December 2006 NPR News investigation into how soldiers returning from Iraq to Fort Carson, CO with post traumatic stress disorder and other emotional problems were being punished and even discharged for seeking help. This report garnered widespread media attention, sparked a Senate investigation and Pentagon probe and led to a mandatory training program for military officials at Fort Carson.

“Ellen is a powerful journalist and a strong leader, with a passion for both the tradition of NPR News and our vision for the future,” said Jay Kernis, Senior Vice President for Programming. “As the American public increasingly turns to public radio for news and information, the Vice President for News position is a pivotal one at NPR and throughout the NPR Member station community. Ellen is the perfect person to lead our organization into its next stage of public service by expanding NPR News’ substantive, thoughtful journalism across all media platforms and to all audiences.”

This year, Weiss celebrates her 25th anniversary at NPR News. From 2001 to 2006, she was Senior Editor of the National Desk, managing 80 reporters, editors and producers covering all national issues including politics, business, religion, education, immigration, police and prisons. She oversaw coverage of major national events; among them, NPR News’ critically-acclaimed work covering 9/11, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the 2002 and 2004 elections. Weiss also edited many of NPR News’ investigations including Zwerdling’s award-winning coverage of the use of dogs in detention centers, Carrie Kahn’s report on mercy killings at New Orleans hospitals during Hurricane Katrina and John McChesney’s investigation into the final hours of the only Abu Ghraib detainee whose death was ruled a homicide.

For 12 years, she was Executive Producer of All Things Considered. She was responsible for its broadcasts from around the U.S. and the world – including Berlin during the fall of communism, San Francisco after the 1989 earthquake, L.A. in the midst of the 1992 riots and Jerusalem during the 1996 elections. Weiss has also served as a senior producer, editor, field producer and director at NPR News.

She has been part of the NPR News teams that have received such honors as Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, George Foster Peabody Awards, Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards, Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards, Overseas Press Club Awards and American Women in Radio and Television Awards.

Weiss is a graduate of Smith College with a B.A. in international relations. She and her family live in Washington, D.C.


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