Vivian Schiller (President & CEO): NPR
Why this is a big quit: Schiller was a highly regarded leader of National Public Radio prior to the scandals that shook the organization while she was President & CEO. She recovered NPR from falling revenues and lost listeners. The quit was so big because just weeks prior to her resignation, the US House of Representatives voted to eliminate the $451 million grant to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the major underwriter of NPR. In December 2011, Congress did allocate almost all of the funds, however NPR remains on alert from the government’s very aggressive cost-cutting position.
Why this is not as big as our Top 10: After the criticized Juan Williams termination, and Ron Schiller’s comments that NPR doesn’t need funding, it was in NPR’s best interest to indicate that they could manage their own. Schiller resigned from her position in March of 2011 after the Board indicated that “controversies under Schiller’s watch had become such a distraction that she could no longer effectively lead the organization”. This incident is closer to an ousting than a “quit”. Schiller landed as Chief Digital Officer at CNBC in June.