D.C. telephone company exec Delano Lewis has been named president of National Public Radio.
Lewis, 54, will become the first black to head a major public broadcasting org.
His appointment had been rumored this week, but NPR declined comment until Thursday.
Lewis joined Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co. of Washington in 1973 and held various titles at the company before assuming the presidency in 1988.
He called the offer to head NPR “too good to pass up. It is a wonderful organization that has established a solid reputation among the American media.”
NPR board chairman Carl Matthusen said Lewis “has exhibited the leadership qualities that we need to keep NPR the top public radio producer and distributor of news and cultural programming.”
Lewis succeeds Douglas Bennet as honcho of NPR. Bennet left the pubcasting org to join the Clinton administration as assistant secretary of state for international organizations.
Before joining C&P telephone, Lewis worked at various other orgs, including the Justice Dept.