NPR stations didn't fire Juan Williams, but they're getting calls about it

News & ObserverOctober 22, 2010 

Volunteers taking calls during WUNC Radio's annual fall fund-raiser this week are hearing from listeners who have strong opinions about the firing of NPR news analyst Juan Williams.

Williams was let go Wednesday — in the middle of most local stations' fall fund-raisers — after he appeared on Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor" and said he worries when he sees Muslims in traditional dress on airplanes. NPR executives said Williams violated public radio's ethics guidelines and undermined his credibility as a journalist.

WUNC, the NPR station in the Triangle, had no part in the personnel move. But that didn't stop local callers from sharing their views.

"We've heard from quite a number of people upset that he was let go," said David Brower, WUNC's programming director.

Brower said he personally talked to 19 people Thursday night after they called in on pledge lines.

Other listeners, though, were supportive of Williams getting the ax and showed it by donating to WUNC.

By today, Brower said, the station is just $30,000 shy of its $1.2 million goal.

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