NBC News executive heading to Twitter

New York TimesOctober 27, 2013 

In a bid to reinforce Twitter’s mutually beneficial relationships with the news industry, the social networking giant last week appointed Vivian Schiller to a newly created position, head of news and journalism partnerships.

Schiller, the chief digital officer for NBC News, will leave NBC and join Twitter in January. At Twitter, she will oversee partnerships with news organizations like NBC, NPR and The New York Times; she worked for all three organizations in her career.

Schiller’s appointment, which was first reported weeks ago but not confirmed until Thursday, aligns with several others announced this fall, including the naming of Bob Moczydlowsky as Twitter’s new head of music and Geoff Reiss as its head of sports partnerships.

Twitter’s recruitment of senior executives from news, music and other fields is, among other things, a recognition that Twitter users from those fields supply a vast amount of free content to Twitter and competing social networking services like Facebook. Twitter executives say they want to maintain and strengthen relationships with those users and the institutions that employ them.

In a job listing for the head of the news position that was posted online several months ago, Twitter said: “We believe Twitter is a valuable complement to the great work already being done and want to find ways for Twitter to help ensure the industry’s success.”

The job listing spoke of making Twitter “indispensable to newsrooms and journalists.” Part of Schiller’s job will be to suggest improvements to Twitter’s service that will support journalists.

Twitter already employs a number of liaisons to the news industry (who train journalists about how to use the service, for example) but Schiller is the first senior-level representative.

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