Twitter hires Vivian Schiller of NBC News to run its news partnerships unit

As it prepares to go public later this month in a stock offering that could be worth as much as $15 billion, a big part of Twitter’s future rests on partnerships with media outlets — and specifically TV networks. So it’s probably not a huge surprise that the company has hired former NBC News chief digital officer Vivian Schiller to be its new head of news partnerships, a choice that was simultaneously announced on Thursday (on Twitter of course) by both the network itself and by Schiller.

Schiller joined NBC News following a stint as the president and CEO of National Public Radio, which ended on a sour note when the board asked for her resignation after two controversial incidents involving the public news outlet — both of which involved NPR-affiliated individuals making contentious comments that drew unwanted scrutiny. At the time, the board said it accepted her departure with “genuine regret, and great respect for her leadership.”

Twitter is reaching out to media partners

Prior to NPR, Schiller was at the New York Times, where she was a senior VP and general manager of the newspaper’s website. Colleagues have said that she is a smart executive with experience in both traditional and digital news, which should come in handy for Twitter as it tries to convince media companies that it is a partner rather than a competitor — even if some continue to see it as the latter. The original listing said the successful applicant would be:

“Responsible for devising and executing the strategies that make Twitter indispensable to newsrooms and journalists, as well as an essential part of the operations and strategy of news organizations and TV news networks.”

Schiller’s appointment was reported by All Things Digital two weeks ago, after a hiring process that also saw the company interview former New York Times and Reuters editor Jim Roberts and former Guardian digital chief Emily Bell, now at Columbia University. Schiller starts her new job in January.

Post and thumbnail image courtesy of All Things D