David Sweeney, NPR’s chief news editor, has departed the company following sexual harassment complaints from three different women, NPR reports. Sweeney will be replaced by senior manager Edith Chapin, who has been appointed executive editor.
Chris Turpin, acting senior vice president of news, announced Sweeney’s departure November a staff email Tuesday.
“This is a difficult time for our newsroom and I’m committed to supporting all of you as we move forward. I know you appreciate that there are some questions I cannot answer in keeping with our practice to not comment on personnel issues, but I will do my best to address those I can,” Turpin wrote.
No reason for Sweeney’s departure was disclosed in the email, but Sweeney was placed on paid administrative leave in mid-November after his three accusers, one former and two current NPR journalists, came forward.
A former NPR producer said that in 2002, Sweeney kissed her while they were working on a story. Another NPR journalist said that in 2007, Sweeney attempted to kiss her while having drinks during a discussion of her career. And NPR editor Lauren Hodges said that Sweeney repeatedly made her uncomfortable with unwanted attention and unsolicited gifts while he was her supervisor.
In a statement provided to NPR on Tuesday, Hodges said: “I hope it provides a loud, clear message to anyone struggling with harassment… and more importantly, to those who think they can get away with it.”
Sweeney is the second NPR executive to exit the company over sexual harassment allegations, following senior vice president of news and editorial director Michael Oreskes, who resigned Nov. 1 after two women said he had made unwanted sexual contact two decades ago while he was employed by the New York Times.
NPR did not immediately respond to a request from TheWrap for comment.