KnightPulse, the Knight Foundation’s online discussion forum, brings us an interview this week with new NPR CEO Vivian Schiller. The segment centered on the direction of NPR in the midst of the current economic downturn, and Schiller, the former head of New York Times.com, conveyed an optimistic outlook for the public radio network, citing the “loyalty and devotion” of its 25 million NPR listeners and the network’s continuing push to digitize content and create a stronger cohesion between the network and its 800 member stations.
As for all the buzz about “hyperlocal” news? “I don’t think anyone’s doing it very well,” Schiller said. “The landscape is wide open.” And though she doesn’t say so overtly, Schiller’s comments about strengthening the partnerships between NPR and its member stations seemed to hint that the company would take a bigger leadership role helping those stations innovate and distribute local news content more effectively.