XRAY.FM Announces Its Executive Director Jefferson Smith Will Step Down

Smith will continue to work with the station under a new title.

Jefferson Smith in 2012. (Vivian Johnson)

After a turbulent year at the station, XRAY.FM announced Tuesday that its executive director, Jefferson Smith, will step down effective Jan. 1.

The nonprofit radio station will begin its search for a new director in the spring. Emily Gilliland, CEO of youth activity nonprofit Camp Fire Columbia, has been named interim director.

But Smith will continue to work with the station as host of its morning talk show and under the new title of senior adviser.

"As we look to 2021, Jefferson has graciously offered to support the organization's transition," reads the announcement. "We are grateful that Jefferson will remain connected to the XRAY community as he departs from the role of executive director."

Over the summer, eight station employees submitted letters to the board alleging Smith had bullied employees and overseen potentially illegal payroll practices. Then, in September, the station's co-founder and board president, Jenny Logan, quit, citing Smith's conduct and the board's decision to reinstate Smith after a monthlong leave.

An independent audit of the station, conducted after Smith's reinstatement, found that XRAY's payroll practices put the station at "significant risk."

Related: Staffers at XRAY.FM Allege Unprofessional Behavior by the Station's Executive Director, Jefferson Smith

Asked to clarify the responsibilities of Smith's new role, board president Holly Hinson told WW:

"Jeff will be finishing up some longer-term projects over the spring, as well as assisting the staff in a few specific areas where they have requested his help. If the staff requests his presence, he will attend meetings. On the board side, we are appreciative of his assistance during this transition time and grateful that his institutional memory will be preserved."

Smith did not respond to a request for comment.

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