On Saturday, many WNET employees, backed by 61 New York State Assembly members, asked for C.E.O. Neal Shapiro to resign after he was demoted.
According to the New York Daily News, Mr. Shapiro announced a new organizational structure at the beginning of this month, which left at least five members of the eight-person C.E.O. committee without power or reporting directly to him. The committee was chaired by Joel Klein, a former deputy chancellor of the New York City Department of Education and current CEO of News Corp.
The changes reduced Mr. Shapiro’s authority significantly, and many of those affected are now calling for his resignation.
“Shapiro isn’t the poster child for the crisis of political correctness in broadcasting. But he was long seen as an institution builder, an expert in negotiating with journalists unions and museum boards, and someone who had an excellent record on employee management,” wrote Washington Bureau Chief Juliet Macur and Brian Stelter in the New York Times. “He also had a highly regarded reputation on the part of news-gathering executives and news executives. And Mr. Shapiro’s process was highly respected by editorial, financial and programming executives.”
Since the changes were announced, people have resigned from the Executive Producer, Executive Producer, and Correspondent positions on the station’s “Nightly News,” “World News Tonight,” and “Mornings with John and Gayle.”
As WNET employees come together with their employers to fight for Mr. Shapiro’s resignation, many are praising the newly appointed C.E.O. Garrett Goldson as the solution to the problem.
“Garrett Goldson is the person the board of the WNET Foundation needs to work closely with to make sure the process is transparent and that this never happens again,” said an anonymous employee to New York. “We want Neal on this board.”
You can read more about the story here, and watch the full video of the employees’ protest here.