NPR's chief news editor is out following multiple sexual harassment allegations

  • David Sweeney, NPR’s chief news editor, has left the network following multiple sexual harassment allegations.
  • Three women, all current or former NPR employees, filed complaints against Sweeney in recent weeks after revelations that the network’s chief newsroom executive, Michael Oreskes, had faced multiple allegations over 20 years.
  • Executive editor Edith Chapin will replace Sweeney.

National Public Radio’s chief news editor, David Sweeney, has departed the organisation following several sexual harassment allegations, the network reported Tuesday. Edith Chapin, the current senior manager, is replacing him.

“David Sweeney is no longer on staff,” Chris Turpin, acting senior vice president of news, said in a staff email, according to NPR reporters Merrit Kennedy and David Folkenflik.

Three women – two current NPR journalists and one former – filed complaints against Sweeney in recent weeks. One producer told NPR reporters that Sweeney suddenly kissed her once in 2002 when the two were driving in Washington, DC, while they were on assignment. Another said Sweeney attempted to kiss her in 2007 while they were drinking at a restaurant after she had approached him for advice.

NPR editor Lauren Hodges also told reporters at the network that Sweeney repeatedly asked her questions about her personal life back in 2013, gave her unsolicited gifts, and made jokes about taking her on vacation with him.

After she stopped responding to Sweeney’s messages, Hodges said, she was removed from NPR’s news desk. She added that the incident caused her to question whether she had been passed over for career opportunities because of her reluctance to engage socially with her superiors.

The three women’s complaints came just weeks after NPR’s chief newsroom executive, Michael Oreskes, was forced to resign after facing multiple accusations of sexual harassment that had allegedly occurred over the previous 20 years.

Chapin will reportedly be assuming Sweeney’s duties, and is currently responsible for overseeing the network’s entire news division and managing all desks and reporters, according to her biography on NPR’s website. She previously managed the network’s international desk as senior supervising editor, after 25 years at CNN.

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