After being trashed by NPR management, I had no intention of serving them as a senior correspondent. Judging from the negotiations between NPR’s Ken Stern and AFTRA’s Ken Greene, NPR didn’t want me to be a senior correspondent either. The two Kens were supposed to determine my salary and working conditions for my new job, but they also negotiated severance terms that made it extremely attractive for me to leave the network. Under the agreement, I’d get a generous check if I voluntarily left the company within one year. The amount would be cut in half if I resigned a year later. After that, there would be no payment at all. What could that arrangement be except a mighty incentive to leave NPR? They really wanted me gone.
Meanwhile, Andy Danyo was trying to make me see the upside of my firing. I guess she truly believed the old PR person’s mantra that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. She pointed out that the people firing me looked like jerks in the press and that I was looking good by taking the high road and saying all the right things. Andy also had big plans for me, plans that would make her job much easier.
Before the firing, Andy had been planning a three-week book tour to begin in May 2004 with the publication of my book, Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism. Her idea of a tour was not just about selling books but also doing publicity for NPR and raising money