Vivian Schiller Named NPR President/CEO

FishbowlDC has learned that NPR’s Board of Directors has picked Vivian Schiller as its president and CEO. Schiller replaces Ken Stern (earlier on FishbowlDC: “Stern Out A NPR CEO“).

We’ve obtained the internal memo and it’s after the jump…


From: Howard Stevenson, Chairman of the Board of Directors

To: All NPR Staff

Date: November 11, 2008

Re: CEO Announcement

Note: All-Staff Meeting at 11:30AM today in Boardroom, more details to follow

I’m very pleased to tell you that today the NPR Board of Directors is announcing that we have chosen Vivian Schiller as President and CEO. Vivian, who will start on January 5, 2009, joins us from The New York Times Company, where she is Senior Vice President and General Manager of (Please see the attached press release.)

With more than 20 years of experience in the media industry, Vivian is a talented and proven leader with superb skills and roots in the news business. Her inclusive management style and operational expertise have garnered superior results at every step of her career. She currently leads the day-to-day operations of, overseeing product, technology, marketing, classifieds, strategic planning and business development. Previously, Vivian was Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Discovery Times Channel, where she led the network through a period of dramatic growth, tripling its distribution while achieving critical acclaim for award winning journalistic programming. Prior to that, Vivian served as Senior Vice President for CNN Productions, where she led CNN’s long-form programming efforts, garnering multiple honors for documentaries and series produced under her oversight. Vivian began her career as a simultaneous Russian interpreter in the former Soviet Union , which led her to documentary production work for Turner Broadcasting.

We look forward to continuing to build on our core competency of radio and great content to serve our listeners via our member stations while reaching out to new audiences in various new ways. I am particularly excited to welcome Vivian as we work with the stations and producers to serve the public at this time of great stress in the media in general and as NPR plans its move to new headquarters. We are very positive about our prospects for the future due to the great base you have built, the support we are getting and the solid foundation of our members.

Those of you located at our current headquarters will have the opportunity to meet Vivian at 11:30AM today.

On behalf of the rest of the Board, I would like to thank Dennis Haarsager for stepping in as interim CEO since last March, and as always for his dedication and effective leadership. Thank you also to fellow Board members Dave Edwards and Carol Cartwright for their able stewardship as Co-Chairs of our Search Committee and for an outstanding result.

Finally, let me say that with the continued support and commitment to NPR from all of you, I know our best years are ahead.

Thank you and sincerely,

Howard Stevenson