1 Comment

Re: How we want to view PRX, that makes a lot of sense to me now for how you've been reporting on them. As if they're a scrappy grassroots organization or public university that you're pushing to be better. But especially after the merger with PRI, I saw them as the iHeart (or similar) of public radio distribution. Who else is there now, I don't even know? And even though they're a nonprofit, they don't have an Executive Director, they have a CEO, a CFO, etc. Looking at descriptions of those roles here: https://www.tronviggroup.com/executive-director-versus-ceo/, "as a nonprofit gets bigger, it may need more top-level management positions to handle the growth in team members, operations, and resources. ...compared to an Executive Director, a CEO is typically less hands-on operationally and focuses more on strategic decisions."

And that's how I'd see Kerri Hoffman and others at the top rung. They're businesspeople managing budgets, strategies, expansion, and everything else I know nothing about. And they hire people to manage staff at every level, because if they had to spend their own time on it, they couldn't make the business function at the levels they're working on it.

And from some people's perspectives, when Kerri actually tried to connect with people at lower levels of the org and even provide a personal, nurturing presence, it was not perceived as such, and my guess is that she retreated back to the business of running a big company then -- while obviously failing to respond to her staff in the way they needed.

Unrelated, any chance that sexism is at play here a tiny bit? We're wrapped up - rightly so - in diversity issues elsewhere. But I wonder if she were someone else if her businesslike/transaction-like soundbites that have been pulled wouldn't seem so heartless, since women are supposed to be more caring-sounding. I don't know. I'm playing devil's advocate a bit here. But I do wonder if she's been railroaded a bit and is doing what CEOs do, and is facing the wrath of the uber-liberal underpaid audio producer networks (of which I'm a part!) who would never think to/feel free to take a white person's side on an issue involving race.

Expand full comment