A Public Media Pioneer: The Legacy Of Donald Mullally

Jan 22, 2015
Originally published on January 23, 2015 3:16 pm

Did you know?

But it wasn't always this way...

Enter Donald Mullally, former General Manager and Director of Broadcasting for Illinois Public Media. Twice an NPR Board member and an early pioneer of the network's current structure, Mullally is credited by many for saving NPR from early financial ruin. Mullally passed away on January 21, 2015, at the age of 77.

To better understand Mullally's legacy in public media, let's do a quick recap of NPR's early years:

Mullally became Chair of the NPR Board of Directors in 1983, a period when skyrocketing growth had thrown the young network into financial turmoil.

With NPR, the "mothership", teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, Mullally and his team moved swiftly to push through major structural and financial changes for the network.

Mullally's early vision for a symbiotic relationship between NPR and its Member Stations remains a pivotal turning point for the non-profit media organization. More than 30 years since he helped lead the network toward stability, over 1000 radio stations nationwide purchase NPR content, to share with their local audiences.

Thanks, in part, to Mullally, NPR remains a strong symbol for intelligent and thoughtful journalism that's dedicated to a deeper understanding of the world we live in.

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