Nancy Barnes Named NPR’s Top News Executive

“She’s hopeful, ambitious. I’m very excited. I can’t wait for her to start,” says NPR CEO Jarl Mohn

NPR announced Tuesday that Nancy Barnes would take over as permanent chief news of the organization, filling a year-long vacancy left after former editorial director Michael Oreskes resigned last November after past accusations of sexual misconduct surfaced.

Barnes is a longtime newspaper veteran who previously served as executive editor at the Houston Chronicle and also led Hearst’s other newspapers in the Lone Star State.

NPR CEO Jarl Mohn cited that experience while offering effusive praise of Barnes in a recent interview.

“I think one of the things we need is great newsroom leadership, and I think she’s demonstrated that in the past two places she’s worked,” he said, according to NPR, which first reported the story. “She’s hopeful, ambitious. I’m very excited. I can’t wait for her to start.”

Oreskes faced two accusations in the Washington Post last October by women who said he sexually harassed them while he served as a senior editor at the New York Times.

“Both of them told similar stories: After meeting Oreskes and discussing their job prospects, they said he unexpectedly kissed them on the lips and stuck his tongue in their mouths,” the Post reported.

Though he faced no charges stemming from his tenure at NPR, Oreskes resigned from his position.

“This morning I asked Mike Oreskes for his resignation because of inappropriate behavior,” NPR CEO Jarl Mohn said in a staff memo on Nov. 1. “I have received his resignation, effective immediately.”