Michele Norris is a co-host of one of National Public Radio’s signature programs, All Things Considered. But her husband Broderick Johnson has just signed on to work on the re-election campaign of Barack Obama. Norris has decided to step down from the program until after the election is in the history books.
Norris will not be leaving NPR, but will work on different types of projects, none of which will have anything whatsoever to do with the elections.
Here are her remarks, made in a letter to NPR staff:
Last week, I told news management that my husband, Broderick Johnson, has just accepted a senior advisor position with the Obama Campaign. After careful consideration, we decided that Broderick’s new role could make it difficult for me to continue hosting ATC.
Given the nature of Broderick’s position with the campaign and the impact that it will most certainly have on our family life, I will temporarily step away from my hosting duties until after the 2012 elections.I will be leaving the host chair at the end of this week, but I’m not going far. I will be wearing a different hat for a while, producing signature segments and features and working on new reporting projects. While I will of course recuse myself from all election coverage, there’s still an awful lot of ground that I can till in this interim role.
This has all happened very quickly, but working closely with NPR management, we’ve been able to make a plan that serves the show, honors the integrity of our news organization and is best for me professionally and personally.
I will certainly miss hosting, but I will remain part of the ATC team and I look forward to contributing to our show and NPR in new and exciting ways.
My very best,
RBR-TVBR observation: We strongly suspect that most of those with an opinion about NPR will not change it based on this event. However, we believe it is wise of NPR to get out in front and take action before an antagonist discovers the Norris-Johnson connection and uses it to fuel yet another unfavorable news cycle for the network.