Women rise to the top at NY Times, NBC News

Jill Abramson is taking the place of Bill Keller as executive editor of The New York Times, the newspaper announced today; this will be the first time a woman has run the publication. Also today, NBC News announced it has hired former NPR CEO Vivian Schiller as its chief digital officer.

The NBC announcement comes three months after Schiller resigned from NPR, and marks a return to network news, as she was at CNN earlier in her career, paidContent reported. In the newly created role, Schiller’s responsibilities will include “strategic oversight of the network’s digital extensions on the web and in mobile, interaction with the joint venture that oversees the msnbc.com digital network, as well as providing direction to the network’s new emerging properties such as EducationNation.com and theGrio.com.” She will report to NBC News President Steve Capus.

Abramson, currently the title’s managing editor, will take on the role of executive editor in September, and Keller will stay on, but as a writer. Her historic new role at The Times is big news.

“Symbolically, it’s a big victory in the face of a big void,” Poynter’s Jill Geisler wrote. “Those of us who came to journalism in the 1970s, as Abramson did, know how women struggled against discrimination. The Society of Professional Journalists didn’t even allow women into its self-titled “fraternity” until 1969.”

Looking ahead, both women will face the challenges of an ever-changing digital landscape, shifting business models and tough competition from other newsmedia outlets. They will also wield new power to innovate and break new ground in these areas.

Images: Schiller (left, via mediabistro) and Abramson (via the New Yorker)

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