Bellarmine alumnus and former trustee John Lansing, a veteran cable television and government broadcast executive, is the new CEO of NPR.
Lansing, 62, who is currently chief executive officer of the government agency that oversees Voice of America, Radio and Television Martí and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, among others, will start his new position in mid-October, succeeding
Jarl Mohn. Lansing previously held positions as executive vice president and president of Scripps Networks, overseeing HGTV, the Food Network, DIY Network, the Cooking Channel and the Travel Channel, among others. For two years, he served as the president
and CEO of a cable trade group called the Cable and Telecommunications Association for Marketing.
NPR draws more than 28 million listeners each week and 40 million unique monthly visitors to its website, according to NPR News. NPR has also been the nation's leading producer of podcasts since Podtrac started measuring audiences. NPR maintains
17 national bureaus and 17 bureaus abroad.
“With his deep experience in journalism and storytelling, John Lansing will be a tremendous leader at NPR,” said Bellarmine's president, Dr. Susan M. Donovan. “We are thrilled for him. He is a wonderful ambassador for Bellarmine, not
only because of his many professional accomplishments, but also because of the loyalty he has shown to the university over the past three decades.”
Lansing graduated from Bellarmine University in 2009 after a journey that spanned nearly 30 years. He first arrived on the campus in 1981 and worked at WAVE-3 while pursuing his degree. In 1985, he left to take the position of news director at a television
station in Grand Rapids, Mich., just shy of finishing his degree. After two years in Michigan he became assistant news director and news director at KARE-TV in Minneapolis, then news director at WBBM-TV in Chicago. Following Chicago, Lansing held
leadership positions for stations in Cleveland and Detroit before joining the E.W. Scripps Co. in 2000.
In May 2008, Lansing decided to return to Bellarmine to finish his degree, earning a bachelor's degree in communication in May 2009. In 2010, he was named to the Bellarmine University Gallery of Distinguished Graduates.
Lansing has served as an advisor and fellow of Bellarmine’s Institute for Media, Culture & Ethics. He also served on the Bellarmine Board of Trustees from 2010-17, including a term as vice chair. He has also been a visiting faculty member at the
Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Fla., one of the nation's top schools for professional journalists.
"I'm very proud of my Bellarmine degree and the hard work it represents," said Lansing. "It has been a great honor to be invited back to my alma mater to serve multiple terms as a trustee, and to be recognized as a distinguished Bellarmine graduate. I’m
probably more honored, though, that Bellarmine faculty members have invited me back from time to time to speak to students, giving me an opportunity to influence future leaders in media and communication."
In an interview with NPR News
, Lansing said he wants to build on the nearly 50-year-old radio network’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," he said. 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."
Four years ago, President Barack Obama named Lansing to be the first chief executive of the broadcasting outfit that was renamed the U.S. Agency for Global Media.
"Governments around the world are increasingly cracking down on the free flow of information; silencing dialogue and dissent; and distorting reality," Lansing said in a speech he delivered
in May to the Media for Democracy Forum. "The result, I believe, is a war on truth."
Article by Carla Carlton, Director of Development Communications in Bellarmine's Division of Enrollment, Marketing and Communication