NPR host slams employer for 'hemorrhaging hosts from marginalized backgrounds' as Audie Cornish announces exit

Media top headlines January 5

In media news today, a producer exits Canada’s public broadcaster over its ‘radical political agenda,’ Jen Psaki denies the White House has ‘lost control’ of COVID, and an MSNBC anchor says his family was denied entry into an NYC restaurant because his 4-year-old daughter was unvaccinated.

An NPR host knocked his employer for the dwindling number of its diverse radio personalities following the announced exit of one of its stars. 

Audie Cornish, host of NPR’s “All Things Considered” shocked her fans when she revealed she was joining the pandemic-era economic movement “The Great Resignation.”

“I love my job. I love the listeners of @NPR and the people who make it. Alongside that truth, I am ready to stretch my wings and try something new,” Cornish tweeted Wednesday. “No doubt leaving @npratc is a risk. It’s in the Library of Congress! It has been an honor to be part of this legacy of service and to work with the incredible hosts, producers and editors who make it. Thanks for letting me be part of its story.”

“I started working at @NPR when I was barely old enough to drive a car. It’s time. And it feels good to leave this particular stage on my own terms. In fact this is my last week,” Cornish wrote. “it’s a risk. and that’s ok. I look forward to new opportunities and new ways to tell stories. and to keep finding ways to make space and center the voices of those who have been traditionally left out! Our conversation isn’t over. Stay tuned as we say in radio ;)” 

Pictured: Audie Cornish (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)
(Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Vulture Festival)

Cornish’s “All Things Considered” co-host Ari Shapiro took to Twitter and praised her as a colleague but noted her sudden exit “stings.”

“It has been difficult this year to say goodbye to @nprgreene @lourdesgnavarro @NoelKing @RadioMirage and more. If NPR doesn’t see this as a crisis, I don’t know what it’ll take,” Shapiro wrote, acknowledging several of his former colleagues who parted ways with the news organization. 

Shapiro then cited a September 2021 tweet written by fellow NPR host Sam Sanders, who highlighted “the incredibly talented hosts from marginalized backgrounds who’ve left @npr recently,” adding “I believe in the mission of public radio; this trend is antithetical to that mission.”

Right now the most important thing is to spend the rest of the week celebrating @nprAudie, her accomplishments, and her incredible tenure at @NPR… Then let’s fix what’s broken,” Shapiro wrote. 

“I’m on vacation and not planning on staying glued to twitter or email. If you’re a journalist writing about this, I’ll sing Audie’s praises to the end of time but refer you to [Isabel Lara] at NPR comms for comment on why we’re hemorrhaging hosts from marginalized backgrounds,” Shapiro added.

Pictured: Ari Shapiro (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)
(Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)

Lara, NPR’s chief communications officer, acknowledged to Fox News that the growing audio landscape has become “challenging for a nonprofit media organization” but vows to prioritize diversity among its hosts. 

“Audie Cornish started at NPR in 2005 and has been hosting ‘All Things Considered’ for ten years, and while we would love it if she could stay she has decided to pursue new projects,” Lara wrote in a statement to Fox News. “We’re focused not only on those who choose to leave NPR, but also who is deciding to come. We continue to have remarkable hires at NPR – at all levels of the organization and our operations.”

“Diversity in our staff, sourcing and coverage is not only crucial to the accuracy and fairness of NPR’s content, but to the future of public media and our audience at large. Ensuring that public media reflects the people of the United States is not a responsibility or initiative, but a necessity. Continuing and improving our diversity efforts is NPR’s foremost priority,” the NPR spokesperson added. 

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