WASHINGTON — NPR Executive Editor Dick Meyer is leaving the public radio network to lead BBC News America.
Meyer's appointment at BBC was announced Wednesday. Since 2009, he has been NPR's executive editor, managing all news operations. His resignation follows the departure of NPR's top news executive Ellen Weiss in January. She left following an internal investigation on how the firing of commentator Juan Williams was handled.
NPR's search for a news leader has been on hold until new CEO Gary Knell starts work on Thursday. NPR's board pushed for the resignation of former CEO Vivian Schiller in March in an effort to limit damage after hidden camera video footage showed a fellow executive deriding the tea party movement as "racist."
Meyer's last day at NPR will be Dec. 9, spokeswoman Anna Christopher said. Margaret Low Smith continues to serve as senior vice president of news until a replacement is hired. NPR will wait until its top news post is filled before deciding how to fill the executive editor role, Christopher said.
Before public radio, Meyer was editorial director of CBSNews.com and was a producer for "The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather."
Beginning in February 2012, Meyer will lead the BBC's U.S. newscast "BBC World News America" and its American website. In a statement, he says the BBC has "real opportunity for growth" in the U.S. as American news organizations struggle.