Twitter and Vivian Schiller announced Thursday that she would be the service’s head of news.
— Vivian Schiller (@VivianSchiller) October 24, 2013
We’re thrilled to announce @VivianSchiller is joining the team as Twitter’s new Head of News Partnerships. She starts in January!
— Twitter for News (@TwitterForNews) October 24, 2013
The question of who would land in the job has fascinated media people for months. In early October, AllThingsD’s Mike Isaac and Kara Swisher said Schiller was “a lock” for the job.
Schiller was NPR’s CEO until a series of controversies derailed her job. She was most recently at NBC News as its chief digital officer.
Schiller’s job will be, in part, “to suggest improvements to Twitter’s service that will support journalists,” Brian Stelter reports.
Twitter “has been on the hunt for an experienced newsperson to fill the position for many months, searching for someone familiar with the media landscape who would act as a liaison between news agencies and the San Francisco microblogging service,” Isaac and Swisher wrote.
So what might a head of news do for Twitter? Twitter is not doing saying a lot in public as it prepares for its IPO. But one clue might be the company’s forays into the television business, which have stressed how Twitter can complement existing businesses. ABC, for instance, has moved away from making its own “second screen” apps.
Twitter has developed technology that figures out what shows people tweet about, for instance, and then directs ads to them.
The company also announced a feature called See It that lets Twitter users record or watch shows networks post about.
Other networks have joined Twitter’s Amplify program, which sells pre-roll ads in video clips distributed via Twitter.
One recent study estimated that 60 percent of the world’s journalists are on Twitter. Maybe Schiller will be more in touch with their employers, helping publishers figure out what they can do with the service.