Twitter has been looking for someone to hire as its first head of news for some time now, but now the search is over. Vivian Schiller, the current chief digital officer at NBC news, has accepted the position and announced it by tweeting. Twitter has gotten some criticism because its board of directors is made up of only white men, so since Schiller has accepted the job, they have been able to fill a need as well as put a woman on the board. Twitter has wanted to help media companies distribute news through twitter and this new position will help with that because Schiller will be a kind of Segway between news organizations and social networks.
Vivian Schiller worked at CNN for 15 years and then worked as senior VP and general manager at Discovery Times Channel from 2002 to 2006. Then she took that same position at NYTimes.com and stayed there for three years. She became CEO and president of NPR for two years, but that job ended in controversy. She has been working at NBC since then and will be ending her time there by finishing out the year before starting as Head of News for Twitter.
However, there are some people who are not happy about the announcement. Adrian Holovaty, the founder of EveryBlock, a hyper-local news startup, expressed his outrage by tweeting toward Twitter management saying that it is a mistake and they should check their references. Schiller then responded by tweeting and staying that he is just upset that NBC had to close EveryBlock but she still has respect for him. This is not the first time Holovaty has slammed Schiller. He has made comments about how she didn’t work hard enough to make his company work and put it all on her.
Despite Holovaty’s outrage, Twitter and Schiller as well as others are very excited about the new position and what Schiller may be able to contribute to the social network.