NPR Taps Media Vet Jarl Mohn

National Public Radio has named TV and digital biz vet Jarl Mohn as president and CEO.

Mohn will fill the role left vacant since last year when Gary Knell exited to take over the helm of the National Geographic Society. He’ll be based at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Mohn was among the founders of E! Entertainment TV. He ran the cabler from 1990 to 1998, and before that he was g.m. of VH1. In 1999, he founded the Liberty Digital wing of John Malone’s empire and served as CEO through 2002. Most recently, he’s been chairman of Southern California Public Radio, the parent org of powerhouse NPR affiliate KPCC in Pasadena, Calif.

“We are delighted to welcome Jarl, whose background as a successful media executive and innovator makes him ideally suited to lead NPR as it continues to expand its reach and play a unique role in public service journalism and cultural programming,” said NPR board chairman Kit Jensen. “Jarl has a deep commitment to the public radio system, love of radio and passion for quality journalism. He has demonstrated throughout his career a keen ability to identify media and consumer trends. He has exhibited a strong track record on diversity and fairness.”

Mohn will formally take the reins in July. Paul Haaga Jr. has served as interim CEO since Knell’s departure.

“This is not a job for me. It is a mission. I love public radio and NPR. It is a national treasure and more important now than ever,” said Mohn.

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