American Public Media Group Names New CEO

Jon McTaggart will succeed MPR founder and longtime American Public Media Group CEO Bill Kling, who will step down this summer.

The American Public Media Group (APMG) on Wednesday announced that it has selected Jon McTaggart as its new CEO.

McTaggart, who was previously chief operating officer at APMG, will replace Bill Kling this summer. Kling founded APMG-which is the parent company Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) and American Public Media-in 1967 and has served as the organization's CEO since then.

Kling, who announced in September that he planned to step down as CEO, was also a founding trustee of National Public Radio, and he served as the founding chairman and CEO of Public Radio International.

McTaggart, 50, joined MPR in 1983 and has held various management positions within the organization ever since-with the exception of two three-year stints serving as an executive in other industries.

He serves on several organizational boards, including Second Harvest Heartland, Bemidji State University Foundation, and National Public Radio.

APMG commissioned Spencer Stuart, a global executive search firm, to help with the CEO search. A large initial prospect pool was narrowed in stages to a group who interviewed with the succession committee, and then to a final round of candidates who met with members of the board.

“Jon is a remarkable leader who has been responsible for a great portion of our success over the years,” Kling said in a statement. “I'm very happy with the board's decision, and I'm confident Jon will ensure that APMG continues to lead the way in public media's ongoing evolution.”

Earlier this year, the U.S. House approved a bill that would cut about $430 million in pubic broadcasting funding. The cut would ultimately lead to MPR losing $4 million per year in funding-a large chunk of its $40 million budget.

Bill Gray, communications director at APMG, told Twin Cities Business in March that the organization has not yet identified where it will make cuts if it loses funding. Gray said that fundraising has increased slightly since the bill was approved, but it isn't enough to make up for the 10 percent gap in its budget.

APMG operates a network of more than 40 stations and bills itself as the largest public radio organization in the country. It provides news and cultural programming to more than 900,000 Minnesotans and 16.5 million people across the country, according to MPR.

Related Stories