NPR Loses Another Black Male Voice

Journal-isms: Alex P. Kellogg, one of NPR's two black male on-air journalists, has left the network.

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Alex Kellogg, Wall St. Journal Alum, Leaves After 14 Months

Alex P. Kellogg, one of NPR’s two black male on-air journalists, has left the network after 14 months on the job, Kellogg told Journal-isms on Monday.

Kellogg’s departure reaffirms that the network’s decades-old issues regarding diversity have yet to be solved. They are often attributed to a corporate culture that outlasts management changes.

Kellogg, 34, told Journal-isms, “We’re parting ways amicably.”

Ironically, Kellogg’s beat was “diversity-related issues and how these act as social, political and economic forces shaping our country.”

Working from NPR’s Washington headquarters, Kellogg started on Nov. 15, 2010, not long after NPR fired Juan Williams as an analyst under contract. Williams said on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” that Muslims dressed in Muslim garb on planes made him nervous. For much of Williams’ NPR career, he was the only black male on-air voice, though NPR hired Kellogg and Corey Dade, another black print journalist, just before Williams was fired.

Dade, who also came from the Wall Street Journal, reports largely for the NPR website. Three African American women — Michele Norris, Audie Cornish and Michel Martin — host or co-host NPR news shows, though Norris is on leave from hosting “All Things Considered” during the presidential election season. Sonari Glinton, another African American male journalist, reports from Detroit.

After his firing, Williams made the lack of black male on-air voices part of his public brief against NPR. Before that departure, NPR lost Tavis Smiley and Ed Gordon as program hosts, each criticizing the network as they left.

According to Kellogg’s bio, he “came to NPR in late 2010 from The Wall Street Journal. Based in Detroit, he covered Michigan and the auto industry for The Journal. He was part of a team of reporters who won a 2010 New York Press Club award for ‘Detroit in Decline,’ a 2009 series focusing on the collapse of the U.S. auto industry into the government’s arms. His 2010 work as a general assignment reporter on the decline of the city of Detroit was praised by the Columbia Journalism Review and in 2011 he earned first place feature writing awards from the New York Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Black Journalists.”

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