Schiller ran online operations for the good ol' NYT - NPR announced her as the new CEO.
If this seems inconsequential, consider the recent hire of Kinsey Wilson, former executive editor of USA Today, by NPR. Check out the interview with Forbes about upcoming changes to NPR and its relationship with affiliates when it comes to digital distribution.
These hires are interesting on a couple different levels. One is the ability of NPR to attract big guns from commercial media. Rats fleeing the sinking ships of newspapers? I don't really think so, but I've said for a long time that public broadcasting represents a potential model of what might work in the digital age of news. It wouldn't be unheard of for digital media people to want to move to public broadcasting, which is still just testing its toes in the waters of digital media. NPR may also be in a position to offer more financially as well as a result of the Kroc Pot of Gold, but I don't know that for sure.
The other level is the tone these two will set for the organization. NPR is not unlike other news organizations where veterans have balked at executive decisions to push eyeballs to the web, rather than ears to the radio. I've heard stories at newspapers where reporters refuse to file a piece when it's done, because they want it to come out in the paper first, then posted on the web.
According to the Forbes interview with Wilson, those days are over. NPR is pushing digital distribution of their content.
Well, I'm excited. Never a dull moment. Back to analyzing focus groups as a methodology.