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Tim Eby out as general manager of St. Louis Public Radio

Tim Eby out as general manager of St. Louis Public Radio

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The latest news flash from St. Louis Public Radio is that Tim Eby is no longer the general manager of the National Public Radio affiliate operated by the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

A post Thursday on Twitter from the account @freepublicradio said “Eby is out” as manager of the station, which officially is KWMU, 90.7 FM.

Eby’s departure was confirmed by a source with knowledge of the station’s operations.

The @freepublicradio account later posted an internal memo to KWMU staffers, from UMSL vice chancellor Paul Herring, that said “Tim Eby is no longer serving” as general manager. It said public radio consultant Tom Livingston has been appointed as the interim chief.

Eby and Herring did not return calls Thursday from the Post-Dispatch.

Some of the social media posts publicizing Eby’s departure were retweeted by St. Louis Public Radio Journalists of Color (@STLPRJOCs), a group of station employees who recently had been butting heads with management.

In response to a post that asked if Eby’s departure was related to the group’s complaints, the group said it was due to, “Everyone who spoke out and stood with us is part of our ongoing effort to achieve equity and fight racism at St. Louis Public Radio. Thank you.”

The group also retweeted a celebratory message posted on Twitter, which credited Eby’s departure from the station to the group by saying, “The STLPRJOCs did that.”

The flap between Eby and some of his workers came to light in early August when journalists and producers of color complained about unfair treatment.

In an Aug. 7 post on medium.com, the group said, “Tim Eby … has the power to make necessary changes to policies and practices. He could make it a priority to transform the station into a diverse, inclusive and equitable place to work. But instead, he chose to uphold white supremacy at the station by remaining complacent with the status quo.”

In a response to that allegation, posted to the KWMU website on Aug. 10, Eby said he was “sorry that I did not recognize the depth of the problems earlier and that staff have been hurt. I take responsibility for creating a culture where they feel valued.”

Shortly thereafter, a UMSL vice chancellor, Tanisha Stevens, began heading a probe into diversity, equity and inclusion practices at the station.

The journalist group last week said in an online post it had “no confidence” in the UMSL investigation.

Tim Eby

Former KWMU General Manager Tim Eby, in an image from the station's website. (August Jennewein photo)

Eby became manager of KWMU in January 2009 and has presided over substantial growth at the station.

The station moved its studios from the UMSL campus to a state-of-the-art facility in Grand Center; took under its wings the public radio stations in Rolla and Quincy, Illinois; and increased its fundraising efforts. For a period, it also operated the St. Louis Beacon, a now-defunct online newspaper.

Before coming to St. Louis, Eby was the station manager at WOSU at Ohio State University. Before that he was station manager at WVPE in South Bend, Indiana, where he worked for more than 21 years.

In 2018, Eby was elected to a three-year term on National Public Radio’s board of directors. He previously had been on the board from 2002 to 2008, and was its chairman from 2004 to 2007.

Locally, he has served on the board of directors at Grand Center Inc. and Heat Up St. Louis.

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