NPR executive Drake to step down Sept. 30

Former Sun editor Marimow to become acting vice president for news at network

September 21, 2005|By Stephen Kiehl | Stephen Kiehl,Sun Reporter

The top news executive at National Public Radio, who led the network to numerous awards and oversaw a large jump in listenership, announced his resignation yesterday.

Bruce Drake, vice president for news for the past five years, said he would step down Sept. 30. Former Sun Editor William K. Marimow, now managing editor for national news at NPR, will become the acting vice president.

Drake, 57, did not give a reason for his resignation after 14 years at NPR and declined to be interviewed yesterday. In a memo to his staff, he praised its coverage of major news events, from the 9/11 terrorist attacks to the war in Iraq to Hurricane Katrina.

"I truly stand in awe of what you have all accomplished," Drake wrote. "Each time one of these stories has challenged us, you out-do what you have done before. Each time, the power and eloquence of your storytelling goes up a notch."

During Drake's tenure as vice president for news, NPR won nine Peabody Awards and six Alfred I. duPont Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism. And in the past six years, NPR has doubled its weekly listenership, to 26 million.

Before joining NPR, Drake had spent 20 years at the New York Daily News in positions ranging from police reporter to White House correspondent. He is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins University, where he was editor of the student paper.

"Bruce is the kind of editor who has really been in the trenches, so he knows, in terms of stories, what's possible, what's probable, what's highly unlikely and what's impossible," Marimow said.

"Bruce really nurtured an environment where good journalists could do good journalism."

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