Vivian Schiller, the former National Public Radio president and CEO who resigned in March in the wake of a hidden-camera scandal at the organization, has joined NBC News in the newly created position of Chief Digital Officer. She will be tasked with leading the digital strategy (Web and mobile) at NBC News and MSNBC to “ensure future growth and innovation” and will report to NBC News president Steve Capus. She begins in July. Schiller is no stranger to the TV business, with previous stints at Discovery Times Channel and overseeing long-form programming as head of CNN Productions. “Her background in journalism, combined with expertise in the digital space, will add a strong new pillar to the NBC News leadership team,” Capus said in making the announcement today.
Schiller’s March resignation was a fallout from the posting by conservative activist James O’Keefe of a hidden-camera video of senior NPR executive Tom Schiller (no relation) bashing the tea party movement as “racist” and “xenophobic” and saying that NPR would be better off without federal funding. (Tom Schiller resigned right after his statements were made public.) The controversy unfolded just as conservatives were mounting pressure to defund the public radio broadcaster. A week after Vivian Schiller’s resignation, the House voted 228-192 in favor of ending federal funding of NPR. Vivian Schiller first came under fire last year for the dismissal of longtime analyst Juan Williams over his comments on Fox News Channel that he feels uncomfortable when he sees people in Muslim garb on planes.