To lead NPR into its next chapter, the public media company has chosen a seasoned executive with commercial media and federal government experience. John Lansing has been appointed President and CEO, succeeding Jarl Mohn, who has held that role since 2014. Lansing brings experience as a journalist, newsroom leader, major market local media executive and a global CEO.
Lansing most recently was the CEO of U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), a $800 million dollar independent federal agency that operates on multiple platforms reaching an average weekly audience of 345 million in 62 languages. Formerly the Broadcasting Board of Governors, its mission is to "inform, engage, and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy,” according to its website.
Lansing started his news career at age 17 as a studio technician and cameraman at WPSD-TV in Paducah, KY, where he was promoted to news photographer after two years. He spent two decades at Scripps Networks, starting as a station manager at its Detroit affiliate, eventually becoming President of Scripps from 2005 to 2013. At Scripps he was responsible for strategic and operational oversight of the $2.5 billion division of Scripps Networks Interactive, including the company's portfolio of six cable networks and the $100 million Scripps Networks Digital division.
"We are delighted to welcome John, whose deep experience as a media industry executive and practicing journalist make him ideally suited to lead NPR into its next chapter," Paul Haaga, Chair of the NPR board, said in a news release. "He is a listener and a collaborative leader with a passion for our public service journalistic mission who will help us continue to expand the audience for our storytelling."
Calling himself “an avid fam” of NPR, Lansing said he is “thrilled” to join NPR’s management team, staff and journalists. “To be a part of creating the future of such an important institution is humbling, exciting, and a distinct honor,” he said.
Lansing begins his term at NPR in October and has big shoes to fill, succeeding Mohn who led the public media powerhouse through five consecutive years of audience growth and budget surplus. And according to Podtrac, NPR has typically been the No. 1 podcaster in America, although the top commercial podcaster iHeartMedia has occasionally overtaken it, most recently in February. Mohn will continue on as President Emeritus & Co-Chair of NPR’s 50th Anniversary Campaign.