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Incoming NPR CEO Began Career As TV Cameraman In West Kentucky

Courtesy of Johanna Rhodes.

NPR on Thursday announced John Lansing will be their next President and CEO and he began his career at a west Kentucky TV station.

According to a letter to member stations from NPR, Lansing was 17 when he got his start at WPSD-TV in Paducah. He began as a studio technician and cameraman before being promoted to news photographer. Throughout his career, he has also served as a managing editor, news director, and leadership for commercial television affiliates throughout the country. 

Lansing is currently the head of the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which oversees programs such as Voice Of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and others.

Lansing will replace Jarl Mohn, who announced last year that he will step down at the end of his contract. He is extending his tenure through October to ensure a smooth transition. Mohn will serve as a member of the NPR Foundation Board and will co-chair NPR’s 50th anniversary campaign.

Lansing will be the 11th President or CEO of NPR when he takes office on October 14th. 

Listener Johanna Rhodes in an email recalled working on stories with Lansing and shared photos with WKMS.

“I went out on many stories with John, like the one we did Dec. 30, 1979, as Paducah businessman Bob Shapiro (owner of Jean's women's store) and Gene Boaz (Gene Boaz Photography) set out in a sailboat that would eventually make it to Hawaii.  My father went along for our interview at the Paducah riverfront and took the photos I'm attaching of John and me.”

Courtesy of Johanna Rhodes.
Courtesy of Johanna Rhodes.

Dalton York is a Morning Edition host and reporter for WKYU in Bowling Green. He is a graduate of Murray State University, where he majored in History with a minor in Nonprofit Leadership Studies. While attending Murray State, he worked as a student reporter at WKMS. A native of Marshall County, he is a proud product of his tight-knit community.
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