Board dismisses Iowa Public Radio C.E.O. Mary Grace Herrington

By Dru Sefton

The Iowa Public Radio Board of Directors on Monday terminated Mary Grace Herrington, its chief executive officer, reports the Gazette in Cedar Rapids.

The vote was six in favor of dismissal and one against, Mark Braun, University of Iowa chief of staff, told the Des Moines Register. He said he voted against termination because he was new to the board and has had limited interaction with Herrington.

Herrington joined IPR as its c.e.o. in January 2009. She oversaw operations, brand management, programming, audience development and all revenue channels; the station has an annual budget of $7.8 million. Previously she was assistant vice president for advancement operations at Creighton University in Omaha.

In August 2011, IPR purchased two commercial FM stations for $1.75 million. Back then, Herrington told Current the acquisition was strategic for IPR as it faces a 2016 deadline to become self-supporting.

Last May, the station lost its longtime news director, Jonathan Ahl, for undisclosed reasons. A few months later, at the Public Radio News Directors’ conference in Houston, he presented a short, self-mocking video in which he sat under a tree and reflected on leaving his job, lamenting his change of fortune and cursing the heavens with a string of bleeped profanities.

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