Possibly even even worse, Ms. Cooper remarked early on that she’d under no circumstances listened to of Brian Lehrer, the beloved WNYC morning host whose carefully probing, public-spirited interviews embody the station’s enchantment, and that she did not “get” why he was well-known. She has due to the fact occur to the watch that “Brian is the soul of the station and, in many ways, the city itself,” a WNYC spokeswoman, Jennifer Houlihan Roussel, claimed in an e-mail.
In simple fact, Ms. Cooper’s mission was to bounce-start out the station’s lagging electronic transformation, a little something she experienced done with strange good results in San Francisco and that involves a willingness to make enemies. She has bold programs to use 15 to 20 more reporters — but first she had the in close proximity to-difficult assignment of bringing alongside one another a team of classic radio journalists, employed to doing work for times and sometimes weeks on vibrant community features, with the reporters at Gothamist, the scrappy regional website that WNYC bailed out in 2018. Ms. Cooper sought to professionalize Gothamist absent from its bloggy and irreverent roots, telling reporters to be a lot less overtly hostile to the New York Law enforcement Department in their reporting, two reporters mentioned. Ms. Roussel prompt that Ms. Cooper was attempting to rein in Gothamist’s routine of including “an component of editorializing to its coverage that can be interpreted as bias.”
And Ms. Cooper started out pushing the radio journalists to decide on up their rate and to file stories for the net. That appeared like a sensible request, but it led to yet another stumble in early February, when an 18-12 months veteran of the radio facet, Fred Mogul, filed a story with just one paragraph printed in a different font. The editor recognized it was Connected Press copy Ms. Cooper instantly fired Mr. Mogul for plagiarism with no a assessment of no matter whether he’d at any time finished it prior to.
Ms. Cooper declined to communicate to me about Mr. Mogul’s termination. But one particular thing I realized this week about general public radio is that no issue what is taking place, another person is usually recording it. And that was genuine when Ms. Cooper identified as a digital conference Feb. 5 about Zoom to tell the full newsroom of her final decision to fire Mr. Mogul. According to a copy of the recording offered to me by an attendee, Ms. Cooper told the staffers, “It’s totally Okay to be unhappy.” But then various surprised radio reporters questioned the shift, conveying that they routinely integrated A.P. copy into stories on air and experienced imported the observe to WNYC’s minimal-study web site, crediting The A.P. at the base of the tale.
“Go by means of just about every one just one of our articles and fireplace all of us, since that is precisely what we have all performed,” a person host, Rebeca Ibarra, explained to her.
After this short article was posted online, Mr. Mogul’s attorney, Cynthia Rollings, claimed in an e-mail that he disputed the accusation that he had misused A.P. duplicate and reported that his draft experienced provided attribution to The A.P. She explained Mr. Mogul “has commenced legal motion in opposition to Audrey Cooper and New York Community Radio for wrongful termination and defamation.” (His response to an earlier e mail looking for remark went to my spam folder.)