Ex-NPR exec to lead digital strategy

Former National Public Radio topper Vivian Schiller has joined NBC News as chief digital officer, overseeing digital strategy for the news division and MSNBC. She will begin working at the Peacock in mid-July and will report to NBC News prexy Steve Capus.

Schiller’s appointment comes three months after she exited NPR following a determination by the org’s board that political controversies surrounding fund-raiser Ron Schiller (no relation) and news analyst Juan Williams (who departed for Fox News) had given the company’s critics grounds to push for elimination of its federal funding.

At NBC News, Schiller will have the advantage of working at a news org that justifies expenditures to shareholders rather than the government. But MSNBC is well acquainted with charges of liberal bias, and the news division has recently made a public point of enforcing its policy that on-air talent must avoid conflicts of interests.

Earlier this year, MSNBC host Keith Olbermann departed after the cabler found he had violated internal policy by making political donations without informing his bosses; the division subsequently censured another host, Joe Scarborough, for a similar infraction.

In a statement announcing Schiller’s hire, Capus said: “Her background in journalism, combined with expertise in the digital space, will add a strong new pillar to the NBC News leadership team,” he said.

Previously, the exec worked at the New York Times Co. as senior VP-general manager of NYTimes.com; she also helped launch Discovery/Times joint venture Discovery Times Channel (now Investigation Discovery).

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