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NPR names Gary Knell new president and CEO

Gary Knell, in 2009, with two of the Israeli Muppets.
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WASHINGTON (AP) - NPR has named a new president and CEO.

Gary Knell, the longtime president and CEO of Sesame Workshop, will take over leadership of the public radio network on Dec. 1.

Knell succeeds Vivian Schiller, who resigned under pressure in March after a former NPR fundraiser was caught on camera calling the tea party racist.

The episode led some conservatives to call for an end to federal funding for NPR, but Congress ultimately retained the funds as part of a budget deal in April.

In his previous role, Knell headed the organization that produces "Sesame Street" and other children's educational programming for public television.

NPR board chairman Dave Edwards calls Knell "an extraordinary leader" who has the skills and experience to lead NPR into the future.

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