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With Promotion, NPR Signals Growing Prominence of Digital Media

From The New York Times

NPR said Friday that its executive in charge of digital media, Kinsey Wilson, would oversee news and programming as well, effectively stitching together the organization’s core radio divisions and its newer online and mobile division.

Mr. Wilson will be the chief content officer for the organization. The announcement was the first major leadership move by Gary Knell, who became the chief executive of NPR in December, nine months after the previous chief, Vivian Schiller, resigned under pressure.

Mr. Knell also said that Margaret Low Smith, the acting senior vice president of NPR News for the last 13 months, and Eric Nuzum, the acting vice president of programming for the last 13 months, would remain in those positions on an official basis.

In the new structure announced Friday, Ms. Smith and Mr. Nuzum will both report to Mr. Wilson, reflecting the increasing importance of the Web and mobile devices for NPR’s products. “To us, this is really about trying to connect the dots,” Mr. Knell said in a telephone interview.

At NPR, as at some other news organizations, digital spinoffs like Web sites started inside their own departments with their own staffs and their own skills, but they have gradually (and at times stressfully) been integrated into the rest of the operation.

Mr. Wilson, previously executive editor at USA Today, has been NPR’s senior vice president and general manager of digital media since 2008. He has worked with the news and programming divisions on several collaborations. But until now, digital “has been disconnected from a governance point of view with the newsroom,” Mr. Knell said. The new structure, he said, will align news, programming and digital.

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