WXPN general manager Roger LaMay stepped down from his position as board chairman of National Public Radio to focus on his duties at XPN. He denied a story indicating that he left the position because of a complaint regarding inappropriate behavior.
LaMay stepped down as chairman of NPR’s board following the conclusion of his second term, effective Nov. 15. He did not resign as chairman of the board of directors; rather, he chose not to accept the board’s nomination for a third term as chair. However, in a report from NPR, writers David Folkenflik and Merrit Kennedy cite a “knowledgeable source” who claims that LaMay is the subject of a complaint that alleges inappropriate behavior. In response to Folkenflik and Kennedy’s story, LaMay said in a statement to NPR that he was not resigning because of “a third-party story about my personal life over a decade ago.”
LaMay joined WXPN in 2003. Prior to that, he started the news division at Fox29.
“We take all reports and their consequences very seriously, it is important to respect the confidentiality of everyone involved,” a statement from NPR reads. “The NPR Board will not comment about specific complaints or personnel matters. Nor will the Board confirm whether a complaint has been filed.”
LaMay has since released a statement, through XPN, to Philly.com denying that an alleged complaint is behind his decision to step down, adding that the role “has taken a great deal of my time and attention” that otherwise would go to XPN. LaMay will remain GM of XPN:
At this week’s NPR Board meeting, I informed the board that I would not accept their nomination for a 3rd term as Chair. It has been a privilege to lead this great institution but has taken a great deal of my time and attention away from WXPN. It is especially difficult to step away while NPR is dealing with multiple internal challenges right now. While I remain a member of the NPR Board, my focus needs to be at WXPN with so many great projects underway here.
LaMay also indicated that to his knowledge, no complaint against him has been filed:
A story ran on NPR and elsewhere that suggested that there may have been another reason for my decision. I was recently made aware of a concern expressed by a male NPR staffer about a secondhand story he heard about me that took place more than a decade ago. It is my understanding that no complaint has been filed.
LaMay did not offer details regarding the nature of the apparent complaint.
In their report, NPR said that the broadcasting company is currently in the midst of a rash of harassment claims. Most recently, NPR’s news head Michael Oreskes left his position with the company because of a number of complaints that alleged inappropriate behavior dating back to his stint at the New York Times 20 years ago.