The New York Times, long a pioneer in producing feature video for the Web, is readying a significant expansion of its video news programming, says Times veteran editor Rick Berke, who has the new title of  senior editor and director of video content development.

In this interview with Beet.TV, the former assistant managing editor says that video will become “as central” to the Times offering as text on the web and the printed paper.

Berke’s new role as a video editorial czar, along with recent appointment of Rebecca Howard as GM of Times video who came from AOL,  are part of an institutional push to create more video under the paper’s new CEO Mark Thompson,  a former BBC director general.

Last month, the Times lifted its paywall restriction of video views.  Earlier this week, the paper launched a new documentary series.