NPR’s top programming executive, Anya Grundmann, will step down at the end of the year after nearly three decades at the network. According to NPR, her record “has been marked by innovations, successes and, of late, sharp setbacks buffeting the industry broadly and the network specifically.”
“I’ve especially loved it when the sparks are flying, when we’ve imagined new ways we can lean into our enormous potential while staying true to our public service mission,” Grundmann says in a comment texted for this story. “It’s been the best kind of roller coaster ride.”
Since becoming head of programming in 2015, Grundmann has overseen music, entertainment and talk shows such as Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me and Fresh Air (which originates at member station WHYY), and most of the network’s podcasts.
Among other accomplishments, states NPR, D.C.-based Grundmann has been widely hailed for helping to cultivate Tiny Desk, the intimate, stripped-down performances that have propelled careers of unknown artists and allowed stars to reveal new truths about their music. The videos routinely draw millions of viewers, many of them younger than typical consumers of the network’s fare, to NPR’s social media accounts.
PHOTO: Stephen Voss