|John Lansing at the VOA|
John Lansing, a veteran government broadcast and cable television executive, has been selected by NPR's corporate board to succeed its current chief, Jarl Mohn.
Lansing, who is 62, is currently the chief executive of the government agency that oversees Voice of America, Radio and Television Martí and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, among others.
Lansing will start in his new position in mid-October. He will be the 11th permanent president or chief executive in the radio network's nearly 50-year history.
In an interview, Lansing said he wants to build on NPR's successes in broadcast news and entertainment to become even more dominant in podcasting and more prevalent in streaming.
"When I think of NPR and I think of the member stations collectively, I think really of journalism as a public service, not tied to a profit motive," Lansing told NPR News. He defined NPR's mission as "serving the public with information and an excellence and quality about it that makes it 'must see' on a variety of platforms."
"In terms of mission, understanding of media, the depth of experience, his strategic leadership, his commitment to people and culture, I would say those were really the key things that we were looking for," said Goli Sheikholeslami, vice chairwoman of the NPR board of directors and CEO of Chicago Public Media.
"The challenges he will face at NPR are not dissimilar to challenges across the media landscape as a whole," said Sheikholeslami, who will soon take up the CEO job at New York Public Radio.
NPR stands stronger than it did at the outset of Mohn's five-year term in 2014. The network had run deficits in six of the seven previous years; under Mohn, it has achieved a slight surplus for each year during his tenure, even as the annual budget grew by more than 40%.
NPR draws more than 28 million listeners each week and 40 million unique monthly visitors to its website — both represent a rise of several million over those five years. NPR has also been the nation's leading producer of podcasts since Podtrac started measuring audiences.