Twitter picks up ex-NPR chief Vivian Schiller as ‘head of news’

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images - Twitter CEO Evan Williams announces the newly revamped Twitter website on September 14, 2010 at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, California.

Twitter has hired former National Public Radio head Vivian Schiller as its “head of news,” a position that the company said will help to build up its relationship with news media outlets.

Schiller, who joined NBC News to run its digital strategy after resigning from NPR in 2011, tweeted the news from her account on the social network. The Twitter for News account also confirmed the hire, as did a Twitter spokeswoman.

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Schiller will join Twitter in January, the company said. In an e-mail obtained by The Washington Post, Schiller told colleagues that she will remain in the D.C. area but will be a frequent guest at Twitter offices in San Francisco and New York.

Twitter, which has filed to go public and may begin trading as early as the second week of November, has made a marked push in recent months to build strong, specialized products across its platform — especially in the area of news.

In a job posting the company put up earlier this year for the position to be filled by Schiller, the firm said it was looking for an experienced candidate to steward the next big phase of the relationship between the network and the industry, and to make Twitter indispensable to news-gathering.

The social network has named a handful of new executives to head up new verticals in recent months, including TopSpin Media executive Bob Moczydlowsky, now head of Twitter Music, and Geoff Reiss, formerly of ESPN, to oversee sports partnerships.

 
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