I caught up with National Public Radio President and CEO Vivian Schiller the other day in the Club Acela at Penn Station, much to the interest of some NPR listeners who eavesdropped as we talked in the computer corner of the crowded lounge. Schiller joined NPR late last year after a stint as SVP and GM of NYTimes.com; before that, she was in cable as head of DiscoveryTimes and SVP of long-form programming at CNN. She’s using every bit of that experience to run NPR, not the easiest of jobs in the best of times. As she was joining, NPR responded to the downturn — and a projected deficit that ballooned to $23 million from $2 million — with its first company organization-wide layoffs in 25 years, cutting 7 percent of the nearly 900-person staff and two shows. Since then, some member station execs have criticized NPR’s online operations as too extensive, while Schiller continues to emphasize the hyperlocal ideas for online and radio she’s talked about from the beginning. We focused on digital strategy.
(Note: I’m chagrined to say this starts with a misstep on my part, when I give the wrong length of time for her tenure at NPR. I opted to leave it in since I wasn’t editing the rest of the 10-minute video. As for the video quality, I’ll get better at it. Pointers welcome.)