Managing news editor Sunni Khalid out at WYPR-FM

Veteran Baltimore journalist's last day at NPR station was Friday

March 21, 2012|By David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun

Sunni Khalid, managing news editor at WYPR-FM, has been dropped by the public radio station after more than nine years on the job there.

His departure from WYPR was confirmed in an email by a newsroom staffer sent to colleagues at the station and elsewhere Monday. His last day was Friday.

Khalid and WYPR management both declined comment Wednesday.

Khalid, a former Baltimore Sun reporter, had been on probation in February for comments he posted on the Facebook page of a friend questioning the influence of Israel on American politics.

"I, for one, have had enough of this pandering before the Israeli regime," he wrote. "The war-mongering toward Iran has, once again, distracted the world from Israel's brutal military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights."

Meanwhile, G. Jefferson Price — a former Baltimore Sun editor who worked with Khalid at the newspaper — wrote on his personal blog about an encounter he had with his former colleague last week in the WYPR studios.

Price wrote that someone made an obscene gesture toward him through a studio window as he was appearing as a guest on the Dan Rodricks' "Midday" show. He does not name Khalid but includes details that makes it clear whom he is referring to.

"A man flipped me the bird this week! He did it in a place where one might least expect it," Price wrote. "This was not an expression of road rage on a busy roadway; it was at the studio of Baltimore's local public radio station."

Reached by phone Wednesday, Price confirmed the account on the blog, but added, "I did not name anyone."

Khalid, who previously worked for National Public Radio, was the first full-time newsroom employee hired by WYPR after the Johns Hopkins University sold the old WJHU-FM to the community group that now holds the license.

David Zurawik appears on WYPR weekly as part of a content-sharing agreement with The Baltimore Sun.

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