NPR chief news editor David Sweeney is ousted after sexual harassment allegations

National Public Radio, whose Washington, D.C., headquarters are shown, has seen two senior news executives depart in recent weeks after allegations of sexual misconduct.
(Charles Dharapak / Associated Press)

Less than a month after its top news executive, Mike Oreskes, resigned following allegations of sexual misconduct, National Public Radio has lost another senior editor after female journalists accused him of sexual harassment.

David Sweeney has stepped down from his role as NPR’s chief news editor following accusations by at least three current and former NPR journalists, the organization reported on Tuesday. His departure came after NPR conducted a formal internal review into his conduct.

A spokeswoman for NPR confirmed that Sweeney no longer works for the organization.


“We take all reports very seriously and it is important to respect the confidentiality of everyone involved. NPR will not comment about specific complaints or personnel matters,” the spokeswoman said.

The Washington, D.C.-based news agency reported Tuesday that the complaints against Sweeney were filed after Oreskes — NPR’s senior vice president of news and editorial director — was forced to resign on Nov. 1 over sexual misconduct allegations.

The accusations against Sweeney include an unwanted kiss and an attempted kiss, as well as unwanted attention and unsolicited gifts to a subordinate, according to the NPR report.

“This is a difficult time for our newsroom and I’m committed to supporting all of you as we move forward,” Chris Turpin, acting senior vice president of news, said in an email to staff, according to the NPR report.

Sweeney is the latest prominent news figure to be toppled on accusations of sexual misconduct. Last week, CBS fired veteran journalist Charlie Rose from “CBS This Morning” after the Washington Post reported on allegations that he had sexually harassed several women who were working on his long-running PBS show.

PBS subsequently canceled “Charlie Rose,” saying it “expects all the producers we work with to provide a workplace where people feel safe and are treated with dignity and respect.”

Glenn Thrush, a White House correspondent for the New York Times, was suspended last week after Vox reported allegations from four female journalists who claimed Thrush engaged in inappropriate behavior toward them when he worked at Politico.

Fox News anchor Bill O’Reilly was fired in April following sexual harassment claims lodged against him.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT


9:35 a.m.: This article was updated with confirmation and a statement from NPR.

This article was originally published Nov. 28 at 5:35 p.m.