September 27, 2011

Investigative News Network Adds Two Media Leaders to its Board of Directors

Vivian Schiller and Neal Shapiro, who have been media leaders at both mainstream commercial and nonprofit organizations, have joined the board of directors of the Investigative News Network (INN).

Schiller is currently the Chief Digital Officer for NBC News, and has responsibility for leading the digital growth for both NBC News and MSNBC. Shapiro is currently the president and chief executive officer of New York public media provider, WNET.

INN, founded two years ago, is a consortium of nonprofit newsrooms that has quickly grown to 60 member organizations in North America that produce nonpartisan investigative and public interest journalism.

“We are delighted that Neal and Vivian have chosen to support INN’s efforts,” said Brant Houston, chair of the board of directors. “The knowledge that they bring to the board will be invaluable.”

The addition of Schiller and Shapiro, both long-time supporters of investigative journalism, creates a nine-person board that includes veteran journalists who serve as executive directors of large and small nonprofit newsrooms.

"We are very excited to be adding two industry leaders with such extensive experience in both for-profit and nonprofit media," said Kevin Davis, CEO and Executive Director of INN.  "Our goal is to leverage their experience to help INN provide our member organizations with greater opportunities to inform the public and become sustainable ventures."

Before taking her position at NBC in July, Schiller was president and CEO of NPR. Previously, Schiller managed such notable media organizations as, the Discovery Times Channel and CNN Productions.

"As many main stream news organizations back away from the cost and risks associated with investigative reporting, INN is stepping in to galvanize this most critical component of a free press in a democratic society," said Schiller. "I'm honored to help contribute to the success of its not-for-profit members".

Before WNET, Shapiro was president of NBC News where he oversaw the production of several shows including Dateline NBC and Today. Shapiro also spent 13 years at ABC News. He has won awards for his work including 34 Emmys, 31 Edward R. Murrow awards, three George Foster Peabody Awards and many others.

"On the one hand, investigative journalism is never more essential than it is today, where we live in a complicated, inter-connected world,” said Shapiro. "On the other hand, the cost-pressures in the commercial world continue to increase, making it harder for many commercial entities to devote resources in this area. So it falls to the nonprofit sector to try to fill that gap."

About the Investigative News Network:

INN is a growing consortium of non-profit news organizations in North America that produces nonpartisan investigative and public service journalism on a local, regional and national basis. It is composed of 60 news organizations that create long-form and ongoing stories that keep communities informed on the issues they most care about.