Former NYTimes.com Chief “Bearish” on Original News Video for the Web

By on 04/15/2009 8:31 AM @beet_tv

WASHINGTON, DC — Vivian Schiller, former head of the NYTimes.com and now President and CEO of National Pubic Radio, told me in this interview that she is "bearish" on the opportunity for non-television media companies to undertake original news video production.

In this video (beginning at 4:00) she says that the costs for non-television companies to ramp up to produce content which competes with the  "commodity" television news organizations, does not provide an adequate return on investment.

NPR is doing some original video, but mostly to complement its music coverage and some video around special reports.  It won't be a big part of NPR, she says. 

Here is a recent mini-documentary produced by NPR about Israel and the Palestinians and the newly constructed wall separating them. 

The video is a slide show, with with commentary by correspondent Eric Westervelt. The New York Times reported that this was NPR's biggest single multimedia project. It aired last week.

Early in our conversation, she lays out her plan for a giant, integrated online portal for the nation's public radio stations.  In her view, expanding audio online in various digital forms does not represent "by-passing" the local stations.

— Andy Plesser, Executive Producer

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