September 15, 2010

NPR president to discuss public media’s future

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Vivian Schiller, president and CEO of NPR, will discuss her vision for the media organization next week at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Schiller will present, “The Future of Public Media,” at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 22, at McLeod Theater, in SIUC’s Communications Building, 1100 Lincoln Drive. Sponsored by WSIU Public Broadcasting, the lecture is free and open to the public.

Earlier in the day, Schiller will take part in an open discussion with SIUC’s Global Media Research Center. The discussion, at 2:30 p.m. in Communications Building, room 1032, is also free and open to the public.

Media Availability

Vivian Schiller will be available for interviews at both Sept. 22 events; for more information, contact Monica Tichenor, WSIU public information and promotions coordinator, at 618/453-6160, or by email at Media who wish to set up telephone interviews with Schiller prior to her Sept. 22 visit to campus should contact Danielle Deabler at NPR Media Relations, at 202/513-2303 or by email at

Greg Petrowich, executive director of WSIU Public Broadcasting, said it’s very exciting that Schiller is coming to SIUC to speak during NPR’s 40th anniversary year.

“Her background in documentary production, news and new media provides her a wealth of experience to draw on in her role as the president of NPR,” Petrowich said.

Other topics Schiller will likely discuss are NPR’s history, the importance of NPR’s relationship with local stations, and how the Internet affects NPR.

“The audience of today looks very different from the audience WSIU-FM started with more than 50 years ago,” Petrowich said. “Listeners expect more coverage of more issues on more platforms and NPR member stations are positioned to deliver. With radio, Internet, smart phone apps and, of course, a network of reporters committed to the core mission of journalism, WSIU will remain vital in the coming years as we serve the region.”

Schiller became NPR’s first female CEO when she joined the organization as president and CEO in January 2009. She oversees all of the organization’s worldwide media operations, including NPR’s partnerships with a network of more than 900 public radio stations, and their service to the nearly 30 million people who listen to NPR programming, according to her biography.

Prior to joining NPR, Schiller was senior vice president and general manager of for the New York Times Co. Leading the day-to-day operations of the largest newspaper website on the Internet, Schiller oversaw product, technology, marketing, classifieds, strategic planning and business development.

Previously she served as senior vice president and general manager of Discovery Times Channel, a joint venture of The New York Times and Discovery Communications. In leading the network she launched, Discovery Times Channel tripled its distribution and earned critical acclaim for award-winning journalistic programs, according to her biography.

Schiller also was senior vice president of CNN Productions, where documentaries and series produced under her auspices earned honors including three Peabody Awards, four Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Awards, and dozens of Emmys.