More on WDAV & World of Opera

We are seeing a lot of misleading media reports about WDAV’s relationship to World of Opera host Lisa Simeone. To clarify and correct:

As host of World of Opera, Lisa Simeone is an independent contractor of WDAV Classical Public Radio. Ms. Simeone’s activities outside of this job are not in violation of any of WDAV’s employee codes and have had no effect on her job performance at WDAV. Ms. Simeone remains the host of World of Opera.

 We continue to work with NPR to find a solution to the issues surrounding World of Opera, and we’ll publish any updates here!

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80 Responses to More on WDAV & World of Opera

  1. John Clark says:

    I urge WDAV to support Lisa Simeone in this matter. Her role as host of the WDAV-produced NPR World of Opera offers no substantive conflict with NPR.

    • Leo in Louisiana says:

      I have heard Lisa Simeone many times on World of Opera, which has been carried by our radio network here in Louisiana. I’m glad the station is supporting her and not acting like the fools over at NPR. I’m sick to death of that organization reacting like a bunch of fools.

  2. Thomas Payne says:

    NPR has overstepped their authority. If need be then WDAV should abandon NPR. I will pledge $100 a year to WDAV if you do so. We love World of Opera and we love America. We WILL uphold every citizen’s right to speak out.

    • Joe Bua says:

      Very well said. Mr. Payne would be proud to have his name on that comment. Thank you WDAV for fixing this.

    • Chad says:

      Thomas, NPR was not involved in Lisa’s firing at SoundPrint.

      It also did not make any employment decisions regarding Lisa at “NPR World of Opera.” Both SoundPrint and “NPR World of Opera” are independent organizations from NPR. They just contribute material to be broadcast on NPR stations

      For a stepwise breakdown of the facts, see my post below.

      • Mike says:

        While it is true that NPR did not have any direct role in her firing from “SoundPrint”, it is not true that their hands are clean with respect to “World of Opera.” NPR was in direct contact with WDAV and its spokespeople publicly stated that they wanted WDAV do address the alleged “problem”. While NPR refuses to disclose what it is that they discussed with WDAV, it seems pretty obvious that they wanted her fired. Kudos to WDAV for refusing to cave in to NPR pressure.

  3. Jack Stinglash says:

    Kudos to WDAV for standing by a citizen expressing her non-violent, patriotic beliefs in her free time. As Lisa put it, “What is NPR afraid I’ll do — insert a seditious comment into a synopsis of Madame Butterfly?” NPR is playing the hyper-paranoid, corporate bully. Stick to your beliefs WDAV!! More power to you!

  4. Keith Aitken says:

    Please resolve this unfortunate situation as soon as possible. We frequently listen to Lisa Simeone and enjoy her broadcasts immensely. We offer her all our support and encouragement.

  5. April says:

    Thank you, WDAV! I used to listen to you guys religiously, but can’t pick up the station anymore. Now I just may look to see if you are streaming, just so I can support you. Shows the rest of us that you are sticking by people who are only exercising their rights to freedom, and as an American citizen. Bravo!

    • Hi April,

      You can access our streams here: http://www.wdav.org/_listen.cfm

      Hope you can enjoy listening again.

      • Mago says:

        While I support soemnoe’s and Lisa Simeone’s first amendment rights to say what they want, actions can have consequence’s. Right or wrong in our eyes an organization that you provide a service for can decide if they want you to continue to work from them. It is not her job it is the employer’s. I also don’t agree with the wording she provided to the October 2011 organization she works for, but as a member of the military I will defend her right to say those things. I was going to pull my monthly support or WDAV, but I won’t because I like the music too much, except for opera (sorry).

  6. CT says:

    Bravo to WDAV for handling this matter appropriately. I don’t expect that from media outlets anymore, so this is a nice surprise.

  7. Mon says:

    Completely in support of Lisa Simeone. I may not agree with her politically but that is the beauty of living in a diverse, open society.

    • Douglas says:

      I fail to understand why NPR is ilvnoved in this at all. Ms. Simeone is not a network employee. She is not a freelancer working for the network. The network’s journalistic ethics are not endangered by her exercising her First Amendment rights on her own time as a contractor working with another institution entirely. WDAV is enabling the network’s overreach by work[ing] with NPR to find a solution to the issues. There are no issues. Full stop.To echo another poster, I also no longer support my local NPR affiliate, despite being a past news director there. It is precisely this sort of corporate nonsense that led me to leave journalism altogether. I say more power to Ms. Simeone. I support her and WDAV fully in this matter.

  8. Ben Jackson says:

    Please don’t cave to NPR on this. I love them dearly, but they have lost their way on personnel issues. They are overstepping their bounds, and independent stations need to draw a line in the sand. Kudos to you for doing the right thing here.

  9. Kris says:

    I commend WDAV for, simply, doing the right thing. I live in a different part of the world, but applaud you from across the Atlantic.

    • Suhag says:

      I slrongty support Ms. Simeone in this matter. I stopped supporting NPR stations in my area over the Juan Williams incident. More recently, I went back to supporting a Washington DC station after they had Juan Williams as a guest on the Diane Rehm Show, which they originate. Fair doesn’t seem to matter these days, but level playing field does, to me What’s good for Scott Simon, Ms. Roberts, and the rest of the NPR names , ought to be good enough for Ms. Simeone, and she’s not even an NPR employee. I don’t see where Opera and Occupy Washington are in the same arena. For that matter, if Juan Williams can appear on Diane Rehm’s news commentary show, then Lisa Simeone can appear your opera commentary show. Good luck on your decision.

  10. Ellen Davidson says:

    Bravo for standing on the side of freedom of expression. Don’t cave to NPR.

  11. Jeff says:

    Sad that it takes courage for a station to support freedom of speech, but that is where we are today. Thank you, WDAV, and please don’t succumb to pressure from NPR. Refer them to the US Bill of Rights.

    • Aaron says:

      The First Amendment does not protect you from the private consequences of your actions. If she was subject to the NPR Code of Ethics, and violated it, then that’s all there is to it. There’s nothing new about this sort of thing; journalists have been getting fired for decades for engaging in political activity. As a journalist myself, I have to say I’m actually sort of shocked that she thought management wouldn’t mind her doing what she did. This is the sort of thing that’s drilled into your head the very first hour of your very first day on the job: You just. Don’t. Do. It. Period.

      That said, I’m glad she will remain as World of Opera host. This program is not about journalism, it’s about music. Her mistakes in the journalism realm shouldn’t have any relevance on whether she can hold a job in another area.

      • Michael Glenn says:

        While I agree with you that the First Amendment does not protect you from facing private consequences for your actions, she has been a political activist for over 20 years. This is clearly not the most extreme stand she’s made. I do not see how it is that her employers can possibly have missed the fact that she’s been an active political activist on her own time all these years.

        So, WHY IS NPR SUDDENLY REACTING NOW??!!!! Got an answer for THAT, Aaron? That’s one of the two issues, to me anyway. The other issue (which I’d also like to hear your answer to), is, why is NPR firing Lisa Simeone but NOT firing Mara Liaason (*paid* commentator for Fox News, an overtly political organization), Cokie Roberts (*paid* speaker for corporate events– I’d love to see the transcripts and see if she can really make any claim to neutrality on political issues given what she’s doing outside of NPR), and Scott Simon (*paid* political op-ed writer– hardly maintaining that neutral journalist’s stance, since op-eds are explicitly non-neutral statements of opinion and belief in most cases), who are themselves CLEARLY ENGAGED in political activity outside of their jobs for NPR. There is a double-standard there that I am not willing to tolerate.

        • Monique DC says:

          Thank you so much for your comments. I have often wondered why apparently right-leaning NPR voices are ok, but left-leaning are not. NPR is clearly no longer the public radio entity that we thought they were. This is one more reason to only donate to individual stations or independent media.

        • W says:

          Unfortunately NPR management seems to have abandoned fair and balanced broadcasting for the far right conservative agenda. They’ll protect their government funding with this short-sightedness but eventually lose much public support.

        • Aaron says:

          Fox News, an overtly political organization

          Sorry, but the “everyone’s legitimate but Fox” talking point indicates you’re just a pure ideologue. There’s no reason for me to bother composing a rational response.

      • Lex says:

        From a journalist to someone who claims to be but clearly doesn’t understand the first damn thing about journalism, let me explain the facts of life to you.

        She’s not a journalist. Even if she were, as a freelancer she’s not subject to NPR’s code of ethics unless she agrees to be as part of her contract with NPR. And while, unlike you, I won’t pretend to read her mind, I will say it is less likely that “she thought management wouldn’t mind her doing what she did” than that she thought, correctly, that NPR had no legal, moral or ethical standing to say a word about what she did on her own time as long as she wasn’t presenting herself as representing NPR when she did it.

        If you commission me as a freelancer to perform certain work for you, anything else I do in my life that doesn’t involve you is beyond your purview UNLESS you want to include that in our contract. You’re welcome to try to do so (and compensate me accordingly), but good luck with that: It will be a short and, from your point of view, exceedingly unpleasant conversation, replete with anatomical references and lots of basic Anglo-Saxon.

        This is just one more case where the Koch-funded noise machine is trying to gin up a Category 5 scandal out of nothing. WDAV and Davidson College have politely told NPR to take a flying flip at a rolling doughnut, which was precisely the course any self-respecting academic institution that purports to value freedom of expression should have taken.

        A journalist would have understood that.

        Lex Alexander
        Davidson ’82
        WDAV-FM, 1978-82

  12. Rick Patel says:

    Lisa Simeone has the sweetest, most soothing voice in radio broadcasting, and we love her and the way she presents ‘World of Opera’. We don’t care about her politics. Don’t fire her.

  13. Bravo for your stand on Lisa Simeone. I’ve supported local NPR station (KKUA) for several years. I will not continue to do so, however, if they kowtow to NPR’s insistence on spaying or neutering anyone connected to their network.

  14. Greg says:

    I’ll add my voice in support to WDAV’s actions. I am truly shocked by this apparent attempt by NPR to have a broadcaster fired. NPR is being disingenuous when it claims it has no role in this. This matter requires a very strong dose of sunlight.

    • Abdullahi says:

      Good for you in not giving in to NPR’s hoicyrpsy. On many emails and web sites I see a disclaimer to the effect that the poster’s opinions are their own and do not reflect the views of the organization. This is perfectly understandable, but the idea that NPR considers a person’s private legal activities as justification for attempting to ruin their lives (which is what firing often is, especially these days) is repulsive. Listening to their current begging, I hear a lot of stuff about how they are dedicated to the truth, which begs the question for me if a person can be fired for being involved in an activity that someone at NPR doesn’t like, where does it stop?

  15. Ken says:

    While I support someone’s and Lisa Simeone’s first amendment rights to say what they want, actions can have consequence’s. Right or wrong in our eyes an organization that you provide a service for can decide if they want you to continue to work from them. It is not her job it is the employer’s. I also don’t agree with the wording she provided to the October 2011 organization she works for, but as a member of the military I will defend her right to say those things. I was going to pull my monthly support or WDAV, but I won’t because I like the music too much, except for opera (sorry).

    • Michael Glenn says:

      Actions do have consequences. I’m a veteran myself. I am going to pull my support for NPR over this, because Ms. Simeone is correct– NPR is exhibiting a double-standard by firing her, while retaining others who are overtly political in their own activities outside of NPR. Also, NPR and its subcontractors cannot possibly have missed that Ms. Simeone has been a political activist for a long time– I am disgusted by the fact that they are suddenly taking a stand NOW, but only against Ms. Simeone.

      Ms. Simeone has my support in this. NPR does not– NPR personnel have the right to their freedom of speech as well, but their actions ALSO have consequences.

    • Monique DC says:

      What happened to the concept that your firing from a firm should have a just cause? That the reason you are fired should be related to job performance, not your private life as a citizen?
      You paint with a very broad brush. I urge you to reconsider what is a justifiable firing instead of merely an exercise in power.

    • W says:

      Lisa Simeone does not engage in political commentary on “World of Opera”; she has been there for quite some time and has been a political activist for decades. WAMU suddenly decided to dismiss her from “Soundpoint” after The Daily Caller “discovered” her support for Occupy 2011. WAMU didn’t know Lisa had been a political activist for twenty years? Why is it that NPR then embroiled itself in this matter and what has any of this to do with WDAV’s “World of Opera”? Could it be that NPR management is moving “independent” radio toward far-right conservatism. It only takes a few ideolouges to derail a historically centrist organization. Many of us think that is exactly what has happened inside NPR.

  16. Janine says:

    Thank you WDAV for supporting Lisa Simeone in this situation. It’s the right thing to do!

  17. PhilF says:

    I support and encourage WDAV in its support of Lisa Simeone against the reactionary forces at NPR.

  18. Barbara Larcom says:

    Thank you for supporting Lisa Simeone. The information coming out of NPR is unclear, saying only that they take this matter very seriously – and WDAV says only that you are working to “find a solution to issues surrounding” her work and involvement with October2011 in Freedom Plaza. What issues? Apparently NPR has created some issues that 99% of us don’t see. Keep supporting Lisa Simeone, she’s great! Thanks for your courage.

  19. Robert Breitweg says:

    I don’t do this sort of thing often, but what I do on the job is your business. Then what I do off the job, and has no real connection to your business, is “my business”. May God help us if I’m wrong!

  20. John says:

    I don’t much care about Opera, and appreciate very little of what I’ve heard (though I love Handel’s Messiah) I do care about corporations firing people for free exercise of their opinions. Granted, this isn’t technically a first amendment violation… but it is certainly chilling. Many of us have to think before we speak (or post)… but NPR’s reaction is entirely over the top. Please stick to your guns.

    • Dana says:

      NPR clearly TRIED to have a role in the desociin made by WDAV about Ms. Simeone’s future with World of Opera. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Soundprint production company simply saw the writing in the wall and acted pre-emptively rather than being dragged into this very public mess that the network is creating. I continue to fail to see how it is any of the network’s bloody business how an independent contractor who DOES NOT WORK FOR THEM exercises her constitutional rights on her own time. For the network to seek the high road is disingenuous at best, and a blatant bald-faced lie at worst.

  21. Minor Sinclair says:

    As a Davidson grad, I was pretty much confident you would make the right call. Sorry to see the values tested like this, but glad to see you come out on the right side. How little progress this country has made when fine institutions like WDAV are forced to defend the basid freedoms of radio producers of opera.

  22. James Galard says:

    I just want to say I think it’s great you guys have decided to let Ms. Simeone keep working for you.

    Particularly where her activities are largely irrelevant to her radio activities (albeit they do rely on the celebrity gained therefrom), it’s a violation of the most basic standards of freedom of expression to penalize her in any way for those activities in the separate venue of her professional work.

    In simplest terms, she is and should be at liberty to make as much a fool of herself as she likes, on her own time.

  23. Pattermelt says:

    I support Lisa Simeone, and I hope WDAV does the right thing. I don’t care if she went to an occupy rally or tea party rally. Do we want to become a nation of snitches with huge corporate entities like NPR enforcing their own laws that supersede our constitutional rights to free speech and assembly?

  24. James says:

    Thank you for standing strong with Lisa Simeone WDAV! NPR can go pound sand and I applaud you for sticking by your loyal employee who has done nothing wrong.

  25. Barry in Portland says:

    I wrote to NPR to rag at them about the firing of Lisa Simeone. Here is the response from their media person, in its entirety. It ‘seems’ to suggest that WDAV is the bad guy here, not NPR.
    —————————————
    “It has been reported that NPR had a role in the decision made by the management of the public radio program Soundprint to end its relationship with Lisa Simeone as the program’s host. This is not true. Soundprint is an independent public radio program that is not produced by NPR. NPR had no contact with the management of the program prior to their decision. We learned about it after the fact, through media reports.

    Other than Lisa’s role as host, Soundprint and WDAV’s World of Opera are completely unrelated. We are in conversation with WDAV about this matter. We fully respect that the management of WDAV is solely responsible for the decision making around Lisa’s participation in Occupy DC and her freelance role with WDAV’s program.

    Sincerely,
    Dana Davis Rehm
    Senior Vice President
    Marketing, Communications, and External Relations (NPR)”

    • James says:

      Did the same thing and got the same response. I feel like they either are completely tone deaf or are trying to incite our ire! I gave my NPR donation to a wonderful independent local station instead. Voting with your feet and your wallet is all these would be oligarchs understand. Considering donating to WDAV as well. I just found out about their streaming feed here while voicing my support for WDAV and Lisa. It’s been great stuff so far!

      http://www.wdav.org/_listen.cfm

  26. Patrick says:

    I can’t believe NPR is so heavy handed. I’m glad I didn’t phone in my pledge yesterday when our local stations (WETA) was fundraising.

    What is wrong with NPR? Didn’t they learn from the Juan Williams fiasco?

    Bravo to WDAV for not buckling under the NPR pressure.

  27. Terry Saunders says:

    I hope WDAV and NPR can realize that we all have a right to be political. If she was a journalist or reporter, there MIGHT be a problem. Don’t run scared. Don’t cave in — and make sure NPR knows we support peoples right to have opinions and a job too!

  28. JGabriel says:

    Bravo, WDAV!

  29. Vince Medlock says:

    I fail to understand why NPR is involved in this at all. Ms. Simeone is not a network employee. She is not a freelancer working for the network. The network’s journalistic ethics are not endangered by her exercising her First Amendment rights on her own time as a contractor working with another institution entirely. WDAV is enabling the network’s overreach by “work[ing] with NPR to find a solution to the issues.” There are no issues. Full stop.

    To echo another poster, I also no longer support my local NPR affiliate, despite being a past news director there. It is precisely this sort of corporate nonsense that led me to leave journalism altogether. I say more power to Ms. Simeone. I support her and WDAV fully in this matter.

  30. Mark says:

    NPR should be ashamed of itself. Wdav listeners should stand up an support their station and their host for expressing her right as an American. What the hell does her actions at Occupy Wall Street have to do with Opera anyway. How dare they make these ridiculous threats.

  31. Sebastian says:

    Good for you in not giving in to NPR’s hypocrisy. On many emails and web sites I see a disclaimer to the effect that the poster’s opinions are their own and do not reflect the views of the organization. This is perfectly understandable, but the idea that NPR considers a person’s private legal activities as justification for attempting to ruin their lives (which is what firing often is, especially these days) is repulsive. Listening to their current begging, I hear a lot of stuff about how they are dedicated to the truth, which begs the question for me…if a person can be fired for being involved in an activity that “someone” at NPR doesn’t like, where does it stop?

  32. Rick says:

    As a Davidson and WDAV alum, I’m encouraged that station management stuck to the principles espoused by the liberal arts college and did not choose to sanction Lisa Simeone for exercising the most cherished of American rights.

  33. Sally Broughton says:

    Thanks WDAV; NPR is losing their previously loyal fans.

  34. Once again a cultural institution of the New South takes the lead in showing the true meaning of hospitality and inclusiveness. What is there to fear, after all, in the exchange of ideas? Art that speaks without listening rings hollow, and on any path to transcendence, the arrival of “wisdom is a butterfly and not a gloomy bird of prey.”

  35. Russ Barton says:

    Do not fire her. Shame on NPR. Shame on you if you do anything except staunchly defend her. This is getting ridiculous.

  36. Jon Middleton says:

    I’ve long supported WFAE in Charlotte, but it now appears I’ll be sending WDAV a check, too. Thanks for doing the right thing.

  37. Kooosh says:

    Thank you for standing on principle, and by Lisa. NPR is going to be hearing loud and clear from its core base of listeners that this kind of meddling is unacceptable. I think we’d all be interested in hearing what, if any, pressure was brought upon WDAV by NPR to dismiss Lisa.

    Thanks again for doing the right thing.

  38. JC says:

    We support WDAV’s stand upholding free speech and enjoy listening to Simeone and her World of Opera every Saturday.

  39. Gayle Fishel says:

    Bravo to WDAV for remembering that World of Opera is about the music! I’m prouder than ever to be a supporter and a loyal listener. WDAV’s appropriate and courageous response to this ridiculous brouhaha reminds us all about what’s music — and what’s just noise.

  40. Chad says:

    NPR is innocent!

    For all of you bashing NPR, I’m afraid you haven’t been reading closely enough. NPR was not involved in Lisa’s firing at SoundPrint and they did not advocate taking action against Lisa at World of Opera.

    Here’s a quick synopsis: SoundPrint, which is independent of NPR, uses NPR Code of Ethics because it sets a high standard. Lisa’s role on SoundPrint requires her to express her views and politics. This role subjects her to a clause in SoundPrint’s code of ethics (borrowed from NPR) that prohibits activism, so SoundPrint fired her. World of Opera is also independent of NPR and Lisa’s behavior does not violate any of their rules of employment, so her employment status at WoO has not changed.

    Why is NPR being blamed for actions taken at independent organizations that simply contribute material to be broadcast on NPR stations?

    • Mike says:

      Dana Rehm sent out an NPR Communications alert on Wednesday saying that they intended to discuss the matter with WDAV, and on NPR’s own blog Anna Christopher posted an entry saying much the same thing, also adding that “we of course take this matter very seriously.” So NPR was clearly trying to pressure WDAV on this. NPR is hardly innocent in this matter.

    • W says:

      Many listeners of, and donors to, independent radio believe NPR management has abandoned open-mindedness in favor of far right conservatism. NPR’s recent actions against non-conservative staff does nothing to dispell the perception.

    • “NPR…did not advocate taking action against Lisa at World of Opera.”

      Sorry – the facts say otherwise – what other reason would they have for dropping their distribution of the program?

  41. Tracey Strange says:

    Good decision. Working for the press should not keep one from exercising one’s rights as a citizen. That kind of “neutrality” is much more insidious than frank open discussion of divergent views.

  42. Steve Govus says:

    I also would like to voice my support for Lisa (she does a wonderful job, the Met should be so lucky as to have her on its broadcasts), and to commend DAV for doing the right thing. Looks like you are garnering lots of respect for your decision, which is encouraging.

  43. John says:

    You’d have to be brain damaged to believe NPR is dealing with Lisa or the public in good faith here. NPR’s hands are dirty, and they know it.

    In Dana Rehm’s own words: “We’re in conversations with WDAV about how they intend to handle this. We of course take this issue very seriously.” They were clearly “very seriously” upset about Lisa’s involvement in the Occupy protest, and in that spirit, they contacted WDAV to discuss options for “handling” the situation. Three hours after the NPR call, Soundprint fired Simeone. NPR’s Anna Bross said they went through many possible scenarios with WDAV, and that NPR has been completely transparent. Transparent to whom, their co-conspirators? When asked if one of the scenarios discussed was firing Simeone, Bross was completely opaque. NPR told Simeone she would be included in a conference call with WDAV, then stood her up. And we know that the Soundprint executive who fired Lisa cited the NPR ethics code in explaining his actions. But NPR’s ethical guidelines for journalists is a bogus excuse for two reasons: First, Lisa is not a journalist. Second, NPR’s journalists are very visibly politically active.

    And what is ethical, anyway? Simeone was exercising the rights guaranteed to all Americans under the United States Constitution: the right to free speech, the right to peaceable assembly, and the right to petition our government for a redress of grievances, guaranteed by the First Amendment. The grievances expressed by the Lisa and the Occupy movement are shared by large majorities of Americans: three quarters of us want billionaires taxed more, a large majority wants money out of elections, and two-thirds want the Iraq and Afghanistan wars ended. Her participation in this nonviolent demonstration was more than ethical—it was honorable and courageous and patriotic.

    NPR punished Lisa for peacefully and ethically exercising her constitutionally guaranteed rights for causes most Americans believe in. THAT is plainly unethical, not to mention dishonorable, unconstitutional, unpatriotic, and frankly, disgusting. Rehm, Bross, and the rest of the cowards at NPR are lucky this is not late 18th century France because Robespierre would be all over their tyrannical asses.

  44. Mark Csikszentmihalyi says:

    A well-reasoned decision by WDAV. See James Fallows’ comments at:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/10/well-good-for-wdav/247102/#

  45. alon says:

    Response to Message #375039:
    Dear alon,

    There have been some inaccuracies in recent reporting on World of Opera host Lisa Simeone that we’d like to correct.

    World of Opera is produced by WDAV, a music and arts station based in Davidson, North Carolina. Lisa is not an employee of WDAV or NPR; she is a freelancer with the station.

    Lisa will continue to host World of Opera. That has not changed. You can read WDAV’s statement confirming this on their website. The management of WDAV is solely responsible for the decision making around Lisa’s role with the program. This high quality cultural program will continue to be heard by thousands of listeners.

    NPR had no role in the decision made by the management of the public radio documentary program Soundprint to end its relationship with Lisa as the program’s host. Soundprint is an independent public radio program that is not produced by NPR. NPR had no contact with the management of the program prior to their decision. We learned about it after the fact. You can read more about Soundprint’s decision on their website.

    Other than Lisa’s role as host, Soundprint and WDAV’s World of Opera are completely unrelated. To that point, it is important to understand that not every public radio program is produced or distributed by NPR. And not every public radio station is a member of NPR. NPR is one piece of a larger public radio system. You can learn more about the public radio system on NPR.org.

    It is clear that you feel passionately about the role and value of public radio. Thank you for sharing your perspectives with us.

    Sincerely,

    Dana Davis Rehm
    Senior Vice President
    Marketing, Communications, and External Relations

    • Vince Medlock says:

      NPR clearly TRIED to have a role in the decision made by WDAV about Ms. Simeone’s future with “World of Opera.” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the Soundprint production company simply saw the writing in the wall and acted pre-emptively rather than being dragged into this very public mess that the network is creating. I continue to fail to see how it is any of the network’s bloody business how an independent contractor who DOES NOT WORK FOR THEM exercises her constitutional rights on her own time. For the network to seek the high road is disingenuous at best, and a blatant bald-faced lie at worst.

  46. Jesse says:

    I am taking the money I could give to NPR and directing it to WDAV. I called NPR Media Relations to talk about this and they were hostile and rude. It was amazing. They are so thick it is stunning.

  47. Frank Plucinski says:

    I received the following reply from NPR as to this situation. Looks like both sides deny any responsibility in this matter. You choose!
    There have been some inaccuracies in recent reporting on World of Opera host Lisa Simeone that we’d like to correct.
    World of Opera is produced by WDAV, a music and arts station based in Davidson, North Carolina. Lisa is not an employee of WDAV or NPR; she is a freelancer with the station.
    Lisa will continue to host World of Opera. That has not changed. You can read WDAV’s statement confirming this on their website. The management of WDAV is solely responsible for the decision making around Lisa’s role with the program. This high quality cultural program will continue to be heard by thousands of listeners.
    NPR had no role in the decision made by the management of the public radio documentary program Soundprint to end its relationship with Lisa as the program’s host. Soundprint is an independent public radio program that is not produced by NPR. NPR had no contact with the management of the program prior to their decision. We learned about it after the fact. You can read more about Soundprint’s decision on their website.
    Other than Lisa’s role as host, Soundprint and WDAV’s World of Opera are completely unrelated. To that point, it is important to understand that not every public radio program is produced or distributed by NPR. And not every public radio station is a member of NPR. NPR is one piece of a larger public radio system. You can learn more about the public radio system on NPR.org.
    It is clear that you feel passionately about the role and value of public radio. Thank you for sharing your perspectives with us.
    Sincerely,

    Dana Davis Rehm
    Senior Vice President
    Marketing, Communications, and External Relations

  48. tina juarez says:

    It seems that Soundprints is the sock puppet for NPR policy here.
    Its seems to me , thanks to Chad’s explanation, that NPR has an un-America policy and Soundprint is implementing it.
    Thanks to everyone who supports Lisa Simeone, the last thing we need is one more person out of work.
    PS this captcha is difficult to do for a person using assistive tech for keyboard.

  49. Ronald Hicks says:

    I am pleased to see that you have not caved in to NPR pressure. Their management seems to have become the thought police in recent months. Working for public radio most definitely not mean that someone should have to give up all their rights as a private citizen. Insofar as I have been able to determine, Ms. Simeone’s involvement with Occupy did not involve any kind of on-air comment. So, it was none of NPR’s business!! I’ve been a long-time supporter of public radio, but recently I’ve begun to question NPR’s judgement. The attack on Ms. Simeone was simply unacceptable.

  50. Doug says:

    As a Davidson and WDAV alumnus, I salute the station for their decision. Good call, guys!

  51. Pallas Stanford says:

    Bravo, WDAV!

  52. Jennifer says:

    I’m happier than ever to be a loyal listener of WDAV. Thank you for your decision to support Lisa Simeone and maintain production of World of Opera.

  53. allis says:

    Thanks for doing the right thing.
    I’ve always said North Carolina was the best state in he union, and when I lived there years ago, WDAV, not then affiliated with NPR, was the best radio station. All classical music. Any chance of going back to that format?

  54. cathy brennan says:

    Thank you WDAV for doing the right thing and holding onto a treasure such as Lisa!
    NPR now stands for Natl. Prostitution Radio, as they continue to allow themselves to be dictated to by the corporations that provide so much of their underwriting dollars.

  55. Mike Leone says:

    What puzzles me is that I thought NPR owned the program World of Opera. I remember several hosts back when Fred Calland was doing the show. If NPR wanted to (wrongly) take some action against Ms. Simeone, then the logical thing to do would have been (wrongly) to fire her. It sounds very much to me like NPR wanted to dump World of Opera and used Ms. Simeone’s actions as an excuse to do so.

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